RIA Meneses’ inclusion in the national team pool may have come as a surprise for many.
Actually, no one was more surprised than Meneses herself.
The fourth-year middle blocker from University of Santo Tomas said she did not expect to be included in the 25-woman Philippine volleyballpool, especially after seeing the names of those who joined the tryouts conducted by head coach Francis Vicente.
“Happy, pero hindi ko naman siya ine-expect. Kasi sabi ko nag-try out ako, pero binigay ko best ko. Hindi naman ako nag-eexpect na makakasama ako sa training pool,” said the soft-spoken niece of former PBA MVP Vergel Meneses.
Meneses emerged as the only Tigress to make the pool, which is a surprise considering the UST team is stacked with talented players like EJ Laure and Cherry Rondina.
Meneses said her UST teammates were very supportive.
“Syempre, kinakantsawan ako kasi ako lang ata yung isa sa amin na nakapasok sa training pool. Pero happy naman silang lahat eh, kasi kahit sila parang alam na rin namin yung sino lang makukuha.”
The UST standout was once part of the country's Under-23 team, but she had no idea if it had bearing in the selection process.
“Hindi ko din alam kung naging factor yung naline-up ako nung under-23,” she said.
Surprised as she may be, Meneses is still determined to make the most of the national team call-up as she competes against some of the best middle blockers in the country.
“May kanya-kanya silang pangalan eh. Ako nagiis-start pa lang ako, sila may napatunayan na sila, ako dun pa lang magiistart. Kaya gagawin ko lang yung normal kong ginagawa."