CES Molina is the sixth Filipina player to be named to the Super Liga selection that wil see action in the FIVB World Club Women’s Championship.
The former San Beda top hitter was given the golden ticket on Sunday, joining Petron teammate Jen Reyes, RC Cola Army’s Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga, F2 Logistics’ Kim Fajardo, and Foton’s Jaja Santiago.
Molina, the 21-year old pride of Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, could not help but to look back from where she started after being named to the team.
Unlike other volleyball players of today, Molina, who grew up in a broken family, shared that she never pictured herself being on the taraflex receiving balls, blocking, or spiking.
“Hindi (volleyball ang sport ko) po, kasi talaga track and field ako. ‘Yung daddy ko, ‘yung real dad ko, sa athletics siya nagwo-work dati, parang siya ‘yung bumabaril sa (start) ng mga takbuhan, ganoon tapos ‘yung mga laro niya hindi ball games,” she recalled.
“Dinadala-dala lang ako ng daddy ko sa track, then nagstart ako ganoon lang, takbo-takbo. In-encourage lang ako ng daddy ko na, ‘sumali ka dyan para may sport ka.’ Late na ako nag-volleyball mga fourth year tapos college na ako talaga nag-start mag-training,” she added.
The soft-spoken hard-hitting spiker revealed how she made it to the volleyball team of College of the Immaculate Concepcion, and eventually for the Cabanatuan that competed in the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association.
“Kasi ‘di ba sa CLRAA naglaro ako one year doon, volleyball na fourth year ako. Tapos kinuha ako kasi matangkad lang daw ako, magblock-block, ‘yung basic lang talaga ang alam ko,” she said.
“Nagkataon ‘yung mga coach ng (San) Beda dati sila ‘yung nag-training para sa Cabanatuan team. Si coach George Sucaldito at coach Nemecio Gavino sila ‘yung nag-scout sa akin tapos dinala nila ako sa Beda,” she added.
Molina’s journey in the NCAA wasn’t easy.
The ‘probinsiyana’ struggled as San Beda could only rely on her and Janine Marciano, although the team did manage to reach the semifinals in Season 87, their best finish in the collegiate league.
Her final season with the team proved to be an unhappy ending.
“Talagang ‘yung college ko binugbog ako sa training, doon lang ako pinalakas. Three and a half years lang akong naglaro kasi na-injure ako sa shin, stress fracture, so nag-rest ako,” she recalled.
The former Lioness however, didn’t let the setback stop her from reaching the top.
“Naglaro ako sa PNP (sa Shakey’s V-League), tapos Petron (sa PSL). Magti-three years na ako sa Petron,” she said with a smile.
Molina hopes her success would pave the way for other NCAA players to get recognize and be given the exposure.
“Siguro pinagmamalaki din ako ng Beda ngayon if malaman nila na kasama ako sa World (Club Women’s Championship), and siguro ‘yun na nga ang nature. Mas kilala ang UAAP and sana ano lang din bigyan pansin din nila ang mga naglalaro sa NCAA. Baka sakaling mayroon din mga players na makarating sa kung nasaan kami ngayon,” she said.
Molina, who has yet to tell the good news to her parents especially her mother who’s in India, has mixed emotions on her inclusion to the PSL All-Star team.
She feels grateful being part of it, but at the same time, pressure is starting to build up on her especially with the expected bashing from netizens.
“Opo, sobrang malaking privilege syempre kasi iba na ‘to, world talaga. So nandyan na ‘yung mga malalakas na players talaga sa ibang bansa,” she said.
“Medyo pressure kasi kailangan magpakita ka rin na deserve mo ‘yung nakuha mo,” she added.
“Syempre ‘yung mga tao nandyan ‘di naman natin alam kung mga judgemental, may mga taong naniniwala rin, pero kailangan talaga magpakita ka na deserve mo ‘yung nakuha mo.”
“Marami nagba-bash dyan, pero syempre gusto nila ang mga idol nila ang mapasok. Pero sa akin napunta, so sorry,’ she continued.
One more Filipina player will be named to the PSL selection that will have seven local players and seven foreign reinforcements.
The local selection is expected to be completed on Thursday when the league goes to Lipa, Batangas.
The FIVB World Club Women’s Championship is set October 18 to 23 at the MOA Arena