SAN Sebastian College assistant coach Clint Malazo was amazed at how his ace spiker Grethcel Soltones battled through a fever to beat University of Santo Tomas in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
The graduating SSC belle had 23 points, anchored on 21 kills, to lead the Recto-based squad to a 25-20, 25-18, 16-25, 25-19 win that shoved UST out of the playoff picture.
“Kanina bago mag-warm up, humingi pa ng Biogesic. Talagang siguro adrenaline na lang saka fighter kaya nakalaban pa rin,” said Malazo, who was calling the shots for San Sebastian as head coach Roger Gorayeb is on vacation.
The deputy coach even bared that it was Soltones herself who insisted on playing.
“Wala pa naman (ako plano na ‘di siya palaruin) kasi masigla pa naman siya eh,” he said. “Ang pinaka-plano ko pa lang sa kanya i-sub siya kung nasa likod, eh kaya lang na-ano akong mag-sub kasi masyadong dikit. Kung medyo lumayo, sana nakapagpahinga.”
“Tinanong ko naman siya, ‘kaya mo ba?’ Kaya niya naman daw, sige. Mas nararamdaman niya ‘yan, alam niya ang katawan niya,” he added.
Stricken with fever for the past two days, Soltones was also glad to see her teammates stepped up as she got much-needed support in scoring.
Katherine Villegas and Joyce Sta. Rita had nine markers apiece for SSC, while Nikka Dalisay added seven. Libero Alyysa Eroa also had 30 digs and 13 excellent receptions.
“Sobrang nakakatuwa kasi mas naging matured ang iba sa amin, unlike before kasi parati na lang sa akin ang bola last time. Mas nagtutulungan na kami as a whole,” said Soltones.
“Pinaghahandaan naman namin ang season na ito kasi dito kami nakakakuha ng experience as a team. And yung iba sa amin nabigyan din ng chance na maglaro sa ibang teams last conference so mas maigi na ito,” she added.