IT was one of the toughest decisions Aby Marano made in her life, but perhaps the most fulfilling as well.
The former La Salle skipper made a jump from Generika to Petron for the All-Filipino Conference of the Philippine Super Liga as she finally left what she considered her ‘comfort zone.’
The 22-year-old spiker could have easily joined the core of her old Generika team at Shopinas, which is still coached by her longtime mentor at La Salle, Ramil de Jesus.
But Marano shared to Spin.ph it’s about time to finally grow as an athlete as she finally decided to get out of the very same circle she became accustomed to since her college days.
“Lumipat ako. Ito talaga ‘yung isa sa pinakamalaking desisyon na ginawa ko sa buhay ko,” she said. “Kumbaga I want to challenge myself and I want to test myself if I can grow as an athlete out of my comfort zone, which is team La Salle.”
Marano played under De Jesus for five years at La Salle in a stint that saw her win three successive titles in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
After playing out her final year at the Taft-based school, Marano hooked up with Generika in the PSL, joining De Jesus and former La Salle teammates Cha Cruz, Paneng Mercado, Maureen Penetrante-Ouano, Melissa Gohing, and Michelle Gumabao.
But following the exit of Generika after a runner-up finish behind Petron in last year’s PSL Grand Prix, Marano knew it was time to move on.
“Kasi lagi ko silang kasama with coach Ramil (de Jesus) so sa confort zone ko andoon sila lagi, lagi ko silang kasama, sa kanila ako lagi nagde-depend,” she stressed.
“Kasi it’s about time that I challenge myself kung hanggang saan ang kaya kong gawin,” she added. “Kung kaya ko ba without them, without coach Ramil. Gusto ko talaga ma-test ang sarili ko kung ano ba ang pakiramdam.”
And so when the opportunity to transfer to Petron came, Marano didn’t think twice, even though Shopinas still boasts of the old Generika core made up of coach De Jesus and players Cruz, Mercado, and Wensh Tiu.
“Kung magma-mature ba ako, I want something new din for my life. Di naman dahil sa ayaw ko na sa kanila, ‘yun nga lang may personal goal ako na I want to grow.”
And Marano said she can’t be more fulfilled by her decision, adding she has found a new home at Petron.
The transition was light and easy, according to her, especially since she’s now with best friend Dindin Santiago-Manabat at Petron as they become teammates for the first time.
“Sobrang happy ako kasi I was able to choose a team which I feel comfortable working with and playing with,” the outspoken spiker said.
“Masaya kasi kahit pag pupunta ako rito galing sa trabaho, masaya pa rin `yung environment, kasama ko si Dindin,” she added. “I found a new home, yes, it’s true.”