GRETHCEL Soltones made a fitting comeback in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference after her one-year suspension.
Soltones powered Smart Giga Hitters in beating Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors in straight sets, 25-20, 25-19, 25-23, on Tuesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
For Soltones, it feels good to be back.
“Sobrang saya nakabalik po ako dito after one year. Hi PSL,” said the star open hitter, who was the lone player for Smart to play in all three sets and finished with 17 points - all coming from attacks on a 47-percent success rate.
The former NCAA Most Valuable Player out of San Sebastian admitted that she didn’t expect to play again in the PSL after being suspended when she was playing for Iriga Lady Oragons in the 2017 Grand Prix due to violating PSL’s one-league policy.
“Actually, hindi naman masasabing comeback ‘yun eh pero sa amin kasi hindi naman ineexpect na dito kami maglalaro sa PSL,” she added. “Sobrang masaya kami kasi sabi nga nila, as you can see, malakas ang liga din dito.”
Smart head coach Roger Gorayeb said that months before their transfer to the PSL, he made sure that Soltones’s one-year ban will be lifted.
“Alam mo, when they told me two months ago that we will be participating here, that was my first question to them. Papaano si Grethcel? Nagsabi ako doon na hindi ako maglalaro nang wala si Grethcel,” Gorayeb said.
“This is volleyball, I lend Grethcel to Iriga kasi volleyball naman ‘yung lalaruan niyan. Isa lang ang kinasasama ko ng loob, na dapat ‘yung mga bata nag-eenjoy. Enjoy both worlds, enjoy ka doon sa kabila, enjoy ka dito. Kapag may mga ganito na syempre nakakaapekto sa kanila, nakakapekto sa amin.”
And now that Soltones is back with Gorayeb to form the new core of the Giga Hitters, they are now moving on and looking forward in their new journey and different battlefield.
“Syempre nakakasakit din sa akin ‘yun na nangyari sa kanya pero basta magkakasama lang kami panibagong chapter na ito sa storya namin wala na kung ano man ang nangyari noon a thing of the past na,” Gorayeb said.
“Actually, katulad ng sabi ni coach, hindi talaga kami nag-eexpect kapag nagstart na ‘yung liga kasi bilog naman ang bola,” Soltones vowed. “Ang mapa-promise lang namin is mag-eenjoy kami every game and ipapakita namin kung hanggang saan namin kaya as a team.”