VETERAN spiker Mary Jean Balse is proud to see her younger sister Cherry Ann shine with the Lady Agilas now after a short stint with the University of Santo Tomas a few years ago.
Cherry Ann, now 26, was part of the 2006-2007 UST squad that won the UAAP championship but that was the one and only season she played with the Tigresses as she returned to Davao after struggling with homesickness.
“Proud din ako syempre kasi siya na 'yung nakikita sa TV. Ngayon sa kanya na gusto magpa-picture 'yung mga tao, ayaw na sa akin," said Mary Jean with a laugh.
With the Lady Agilas, a selection of top current and former college players in Davao, Cherry Ann was the second libero and played a crucial role in the team that zoomed past the tournament favorites with three consecutive wins in under a week in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference.
But the tight schedule soon took its toll and the Davao selection failed to make it to the semifinals
Still, Mary Jean was pleased to see her sister shine again under the bright lights in the big city.
“Proud na proud pa rin ako, manalo, matalo, proud ako sa kanya,” said the elder Balse, the Philippine Army team mainstay turned cheerleader for the Lady Agilas, although the 30-year old national team member was not able to watch the Lady Agilas’ games in the preliminaries because she competed with the Power Pinays in the Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship in Thailand.
“Sobrang proud din ako as a Davaoena kasi kahit first time nila lumalaban at nananalo sa laro,” Mary Jean said, happy that her sister is now getting the same treatment from her own fans.
“Ang gusto ko talaga sa kanya kahit minsan lang siya mapasok, laro lang, enjoy niya lang 'yung game niya.”
Mary Jean and the Lady Troopers go for their third title in the Philippine Super Liga, which opens on May 16