ISABEL Molde would rather face the toughest team in the Shakey's V-League than face the camera.
But with back-to-back scintillating games in the early going of the Season 12 Reinforced Conference, the University of the Philippines find couldn’t help but oblige to the obligatory TV interview accorded the best player of each match.
“I don’t feel nervous whenever I play, but I do whenever I’m interviewed on TV,” said the soft-spoken 17-year-old Cebuana who came through with an impressive 17-hit performance, helping the Lady Maroons rally past the Navy Lady Sailors, 19-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23, last October 10.
The 5-6 1/2 Physical Education student followed that with another 15-point output in a 25-20, 25-22, 27-25 win over Coast Guard to emerge the first player to cop back-to-back Player of the Game honors in the season-ending conference of the country’s premier women’s volleyball league.
“No one as young as this girl from Cebu has ever debuted in our tournament with such a strong impact. She is definitely another star in the making in the mold of superstar Alyssa Valdez of Ateneo,” said Ricky Palou, president of the organizing Sports Vision.
Molde, one of the two Cebuano aces in the UP fold, the other being Justine Dorog, made an impressive debut in the recently concluded Collegiate Conference where she proved the steadiest and most dominant Lady Maroon, leading the rookie-laden UP squad to the quarterfinals with 18-hit norms and clinching three Player of the Game honors.
Success didn’t come easy for the daughter of elementary school principals in Cebu. Roving coach Jerry Yee, who also handles the Hope Christian High School team, spotted Molde and Dorog in one kiddie tournament in Cebu and immediately brought them to Manila upon their elementary graduation.
Molde had to live away from her family for four years to play for and study in Hope Christian HS, getting to visit them only during the Christmas holidays. During summer, she had to devote what is considered the grandest time in a student’s life to more training and participation in junior competitions to hone up her craft.
And the sacrifices have started to pay off.
With UP in the joint lead with Army, Molde hopes to sustain her form and keep the team in the title hunt while bracing for more TV time which she still doesn't look forward to.