BINAN, Laguna - One unlikely player made quite an impression in Cignal's opening-day upset of title-holder Petron in the Philippiner Super Liga Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon.
Cignal recruit Fritz Joy Gallenero made waves in her Superliga debut, holding her own in a game dominated by imports as the HD Spikers completed the epic fightback from two sets down against the stunned Blaze Spikers.
The 20-year old fresh out of University of St. La Salle surprised the Blaze Spikers and even the pro-Petron crowd inside the Alonte Sports Arena when she joined forces with imports Ariel Usher and Amanda Anderson in Cignal's decisive scoring rampage.
The Bacolod lass finished with 14 points, from 12 spikes and two blocks and was just as effective on the defensive end with eight digs and four excellent receptions.
“Hindi ko po ine-expect na ipapasok ako ni coach,” admitted the soft-spoken outside hitter. “Pero noong pinasok na po ako ginawa ko na lang po ang makakaya ko na makapag-contribute sa team.”
So just who is Gallenero?
She may be an unknown among Big City fans, but veteran coach Sammy Acaylar said Gallenero has established herself as one of the best volleyball players in Bacolod.
So when Acaylar was searching for a player to fill the outside hitter spot, she took a chance on Gallenero who were among those two tried out for a spot in the team.
“She is one of the best in Bacolod,” said Acaylar. “She tried out for the position, eh I need someone na ‘di lang magaling sa opensa pero magaling sa depensa and siya ang nagpapagana ng depensa ng team.”
Timid during the post-game interview, Gallenero said it was her dream to play in big leagues.
“Gusto ko po talaga maglaro (dito) kasi sa past four years ko sa college ang taba ko, wala akong laro,” she said.
Now things are looking up for her.
“Gagawin ko ang lahat sa training kasi wala namang silbi ang training kung hindi ko ilalabas dito,” she said.