PETRON skipper Ces Molina believes that head coach Shaq Delos Santos’s national team experience will help the Blaze Spikers in defending their throne in the 2018 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference.
The Blaze Spikers jumpstarted their title-retention bid with a rousing 25-18, 25-15, 25-18 sweep of the Cocolife Asset Managers on Tuesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
Fit again after playing through a stress fracture on her shin in their Finals series with F2 Logistics in the PSL Invitational last August, Molina made a convincing All-Filipino debut with 10 points off eight kills and two blocks including 14 digs out of 19 attempts.
“Hindi naman namin pinepressure yung sarili namin but kami yung defending champion kailangan namin panindigan na kami yung defending champion so pinagtrainingan talaga namin ito at nagprepare kami,” she said.
Although that injury sidelined her from joining the women’s national team in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia and AVC Asian Cup in Thailand, Molina said that their coach has been sharing his fruitful experience to the team.
“Lucky rin kami na si coach Shaq yung nag-national team coach so lahat ng natutunan niya siyempre sineshare niya sa amin. Malaking bagay na natetrain kami ni coach Shaq talaga before ng All Filipino,” the outside hitter said.
Delos Santos, for his part, agreed as he slowly implements all the things he learned from those Asian tournaments.
“Siyempre happy kasi nag-gain kami ng magandang experience yun nga ako dinadahan dahan ko iimplement sa team namin and of course sa national team yun naman yung pinakagoal natin,” Delos Santos said. “Hopefully mas marami pa akong mashare sa kanila and kailangan din sa team namin maging consistent pa rin pero siyempre process yan hindi magiging madali.”
“But we’re so lucky and happy kasi yung eagerness and dedication ng players namin talagang pinupush nila yung sarili nila every training,” he added.
Molina said that she is also getting better, but she is not rushing her way to reach 100 percent as there is still a long way to go for her and Petron in their title quest.
“It was a great game for us kasi straight set namin nakuha pero hindi ganun kadali,” she said. “Madami pa kaming pagdadaanan so first game pa lang ito and still adjusting pa rin kami sa All-Filipino na season.”
Delos Santos is putting premium on balancing the enjoyment of the game and eagerness to win for them to achieve their goal.
“Sobrang importante kasi I’m sure lahat naman ng teams ang goal yung championship so for us, paghahandaan and pagiingatan namin in a way na alam namin na nasa right track kami,” he said.
“Kailangan talaga mas double effort pa, seryoshin lahat pero dapat nafifeel namin na nageenjoy kami. Kailangan balanse lahat and yun nga trabahuin pa namin mabuti," he added.