CIGNAL stars Rachel Anne Daquis and Jheck Dionela can’t wait for their homecoming in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
The HD Spikers spiker-libero tandem are returning to the Sports Vision-organized league, where their club volleyball careers started.
Daquis last played in the defunct Shakey’s V-League in 2015 leading Army’s silver-medal run, while Dionela won a championship with Cagayan when she last saw action in the league eight years ago.
Now that Cignal is playing in the PVL for the first time since being part of Philippine Superliga’s inauguration in 2013, the veteran duo are elated to return to action in a different battlefield.
“I’m really excited na babalik din ako sa PVL pero siyempre sobrang thankful din kami sa PSL kasi naging part sila ng history namin,” Daquis told The Game on Thursday. “Kahit na lilipat kami sa PVL, hindi namin inaalis yung mga good memories namin sa PSL.”
Dionela agreed as she also wants to help the HD Spikers win a PVL title.
“Parang homecoming siya kasi first ko na commercial league sa (V-League). Kaya medyo excited ako kasi ang last team ko is Cagayan, champion kami noon,” the former University of Perpetual Help star said. “So ngayon hoping ako na champion din with Cignal sa pagbabalik namin.”
Daquis started her career with Far Eastern University in the V-League and also donned the colors of Army for several seasons. She also once played as guest player for Ateneo in 2013.
The multi-titled outside hitter, who won three Finals MVP and a Conference MVP in Season 11, said she’s now a different player since the last time she played in the league that recently turned pro amid the pandemic.
“Super different. I’ve changed a lot. Nagmature, iba na din yung level ng paglalaro ko. Kung before parang hindi mo pa masasabi na veteran eh. But now, we can say na I’m a veteran sa loob ng court,” Daquis said. “I’m really happy din kasi talagang doon ako nagsimula. Kasi personally gusto ko lagi every year, every game and every season may pagbabago sa akin.”
“Hindi ako nakukuntento kung ano yung game ko last season gusto ko lumalakas ako at gusto ko may natutunan din akong bago,” she added.
It’s a different battlefield that awaits Cignal as it joins reigning champion Creamline, Petro Gazz, Perlas Spikers, BaliPure, Choco Mucho, PLDT and Peak Form.
For Dionela, she’s excited to face new challenges especially playing against her childhood idol and La Salle legend Manilla Santos-Ng of the Flying Titans.
“Very excited ako to face Choco Mucho kasi andon yung idol ko before pa ko magstart ng volleyball, si Manilla Santos,” the multi-awarded libero said. “Isa siya sa dahilan kung bakit ako nag-volleyball. Never ko din siya nakalaban sa liga kasi the time na naglaro ako, pa-graduate na siya tapos nung nagclub ako hindi na siya naglaro that time.”
“Fresh start itong pagjoin namin sa PVL dahil ang dami na ring additions sa ibang team maganda yung composition ng teams kaya very excited kami,” she added.
Hoping to finally end a year of inactivity, Daquis looks forward to an exciting and intense PVL debut in the Open Conference under a bubble format this summer at the Inspire Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
“We’re all hungry. Lahat ng players, lahat ng teams gutom maglaro. Ngayon feeling ko talaga iba yung level ng paglalaro namin kasi lahat nagpakundisyon. Expect lahat ng mg fans na mataas ng competition ngayon sa PVL,” said Daquis.