MIKA Reyes is glad to be able to focus on playing as she dons the national colors anew — as a regular team member.
The comely middle blocker actually did well last year as a debutant skipper for the team that saw action in the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Championship and 29th Southeast Asian Games. But with that responsibility now on the shoulders of Aby Marano, her senior at La Salle, Reyes can look forward to the Asia Games in Indonesia with much less pressure.
“Aminado naman ako na last year na ang bigat ng binigay sa akin and nagulat talaga ako,” said the 24-year-old Reyes.
Not that she did not want the spot — she was the unanimous choice last year by the coaching staff and she gladly accepted — but there are more experienced members of the team that can also handle the job.
Marano, also part of last year’s squad, leads a talented group that has Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Kim Fajardo, Jaja Santiago, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Majoy Baron, Kianna Dy, Cha Cruz-Behag, Mylene Paat, Dawn Macandili and Denden Lazaro.
“Ako mas masasabi ko na mas magaan ‘yung pakiramdam ko kasi papasok ako na hindi ganoon kalaki ’yung responsibilidad,” the former La Salle star said.
“Ngayon another opportunity na binigay ulit sa akin ni Lord para makasama and mapasali sa national team.”
Reyes noted that there is still much work for her and her teammates, though, as the Philippine volleyball team returns to the Asiad for the first time in 36 years.
Reyes is looking forward to build a strong chemistry with her teammates when they fly to Japan this Sunday for their training camp until August 16.
“Personally naman, kailangan ko magkaroon ng chemistry with the team kasi ngayon iba-iba na ulit kasama ko,” the 23-year-old middle blocker said.
“Bagong adjustments, bagong setter — well setter ko na si Kim (Fajardo) before pero bagong galaw ulit ito. So kailangan talaga mabuo ‘yung chemistry namin.”