JEANETTE Panaga confirmed on Tuesday that she has signed with Creamline after parting ways with Petro Gazz.
Panaga joins the MVP trio of Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado and Jema Galanza when the Cool Smashers go for a ‘three-peat’ in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, which is tentatively set on April 10 under a bubble format.
"This year, I will be joining Creamline. Very exciting para sa akin kasi Creamline, one of the biggest teams sa Pilipinas, maraming magagaling na players," Panaga told Spin.ph.
"I feel so honored na isa ako sa na-consider nila na maglaro for them. I'm sure marami akong maututunan sa team, and syempre hoping din ako na makatulong sa kanila.”
It will be the third PVL team for the four-time Best Middle Blocker after two seasons with Pocari Sweat in 2017 and 2018 and spending the last two years with Petro Gazz. She earned one title each with the two squads.
Panaga led Petro Gazz to back-to-back finals appearances in 2019 against Creamline, which swept its 20 games for its second straight Open Conference title.
The College of Saint Benilde standout was offered to renew her contract with the Angels but she believed that signing with the Cool Smashers would be the best for her and her family, especially in these trying times.
"Petro Gazz reached out to me for renewal. As much as I wanted to renew with them, kinailangan ko din po talaga pag-isipan nang mabuti because 2020 has been very challenging for many of us," Panaga said.
"I really needed to consider many factors. Hindi lang sarili ko, but pati family ko and growth ng career ko. Mahirap yung decision kasi nakita naman ng mga tao kung gaano ka-close yung team ng Petro Gazz, yung iba dun sa previous teams kasama ko na sila. But if there's one thing I learned this 2020, kailangan talaga maging smart sa decisions kasi sa isang iglap, ang daming pwede mawala," she added.
Panaga started the new year by proposing to partner and fellow volleyball player Michelle Morente and got the sweetest ‘Yes’ of her life.
That’s makes the former NCAA Finals MVP more inspired as she hopes to finally return to action with her new team.
“Super inspired ako lalo na mas nadagdagan yung motivation ko for this year,” Panaga said. “Kaya sana this year, makabalik na ang volleyball. This 2021, pag-resume ng volleyball, sigurado ako maraming changes pero I’m excited to work with my new team in overcoming the challenges sa sports under the new normal.”