MARU Banaticla clarified she took the effort to seek clearance from officials of University of Santo Tomas regarding her decision to play for the San Sebastian in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference.
The 5-foot-7 open spiker, however, said she received no response from either Fr. Emerito de Sagun, the school’s representative to the UAAP board, or UST athletic director Rod Sambuang, leaving her no option but to go on with her plan to suit up for coach Roger Gorayeb and the Lady Stags.
“Nothing against UST, nagpaalam ako," Banaticla, who skipped her last playing year with the Tigresses in the last UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, told Spin.ph.
"I was trying to text si Father de Sagun and si Sir Sambuang, 'yung athletic moderator namin. Tinatawagan ko talaga, eh hindi naman sumasagot.”
“So nag-leave na lang ako ng message na I'm gonna play for San Sebastian but no replies din. At least on my side, nag-inform ako sa UST."
This was not the first time Banaticla played for a team being handled by Gorayeb. In the last Philippine Super Liga, the native of Calamba, Laguna was part of the PLDT MyDSL team under Gorayeb.
As one of the Lady Stags’ guest players in the V-League, Banaticla said maturity is the one she hopes to bring to the young team.
“Siguro kasi masyado silang bata kaya 'yung kulang pa sa team is yung maturity. Yun siguro ang matutulong ko,” said the former UST spiker.
Despite Banaticla coming away with 15 points in San Sebastian’s game against Far Eastern University on Tuesday, the Lady Stags still lost to the Lady Tamaraws, 21-25, 25-20, 25-11, 25-20.
She said more than anything else, team chemistry will be the key to the Lady Stags’ success.
“I think ang magdadala sa kanila is 'yung bonding ng team. Super close 'yung team eh," she said.