Des Cheng on reunion with Ogunsansya
The Flying Titans acquired the pair who played together for La Salle and F2 Logistics to beef up their roster ahead of the Open Conference tentatively set in March. Cheng knew both of them wanted to explore outside their comfort zones during F2 Logistics' title run in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League last November but playing together in one team was neither planned nor expected.
The former UAAP Finals MVP expected to be reunited with HOPE Christian High Scool teammate Isa Molde but Ogunsanya's signing with Choco Mucho came as a big surprise.
"Actually nagkataon lang yun kasi nung PNVF, doon nagsimula yun, parang nagkekwentuhan kaming teammates ganyan, I’m with Duke na that moment, and then nabanggit ko na this league is parang last league ko na with F2. Tapos nagulat ako na nagulat din si Duke na: 'Ha? Totoo na ba aalis ka ba talaga?' Tapos nagkatitigan kami ni Duke tapos sabi ko: 'Oh wait don’t tell me na we are going to the same team kasi baka mamaya may masabi yung management or what na nagusap tayo and then same team pa yung pupuntahan natin parang it’s kind of awkward naman,'" shared Cheng during her guesting in Spin.ph's Zoom In on Thursday.
"Parang total silence muna kami pero hindi namin alam kasi deciding pa lang siya."
"First week of January doon na kami nagkagulatan na. 'Oh no Duke magkasama tayo sa Choco Mucho! Are you serious? Naggaganunan na kami tas ayun na excited na kami na shocked so hindi lang pala ako yung the only one na mabibira ng Ateneo girls char!" added Cheng sharing a laughter with coach Oliver Almadro and Isa Molde.
The Choco Mucho head coach and management opted not to tell Cheng and Ogunsanya during their separate recruitment pitch that shocked the duo, who have been playing together since their collegiate years and in club leagues.
"Totoo yun ah. Hindi nila alam yun when I talked to them. Actually Duke doesn’t know, Des doesn’t know and before Duke was asking nga, 'Coach nirerecruit mo ba si Des?' No, no, wala," Almadro bared.
Cheng is already having fun with the Flying Titans even though they haven't trained face-to-face yet, but she and Ogunsanya both received warm welcome from their ex-rivals from Ateneo bannered by Kat Tolentino, Deanna Wong, Bea De Leon, Ponggay Gaston and Maddie Madayag in their online meetings.
"Nagulat ako na I'm very accepted. Siyempre sino ba mageexpect na masasama ako with them, eh dati loko-loko lang ako sa kanila sa liga tas ngayon kasama ko na sila. Sabi ni coach O baka mamaya may apir na ko with him. Hindi ko pa sila namimeet lahat pero nakakausap ko sila privately. I’m pretty sure na mkakasundo ko sila. Sana," said the 2017 UAAP Finals MVP when La Salle took down Ateneo in the Finals.
"I’m so excited and happy na coach O accepted me kasi it’s different e kasi nga because of the rivalry. Ngayon with Choco Mucho I can say that nasa tamang team ako."
The 25-year-old has opted to come out of her comfort zone with Choco Mucho, which showed persistency in convincing her to join the team.
That's why she is eager to give back to Almadro's trust by giving her best to reach the championship goal of the team.
"I felt na yung sincerity ni Coach O na gusto niya talaga ako. Iba kasi yung trust pag yung coach na mismo yung may gusto sayo. It’s like a different (feeling) na may trust siya sayo, may confidence siya sayo na kaya mong gawin or gampanan yung mga inaasahan niyang gawin mo inside the court," Cheng said. "As you can see sa PVL, Choco Mucho rin yung isa sa mga established teams, kasi meron na silang foundation, kilala na nila yung isa’t isa. Hindi sila yung team din na alam mo yun changing of players every conference kasi mahirap sa isang team ng volleyball na magjell agad agad. So I guess na Choco Mucho is one of the best teams din sa PVL. I’m really grateful na doon ako napunta ."
"I’m so much overwhelmed and at the same time I need to work hard para hindi ko naman sila mapahiya sa mga nangyayari."
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