FATIGUE didn’t stop Jovelyn Gonzaga from fulfilling Cignal’s dream to reach the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Finals.
Gonzaga displayed dedication, professionalism and played her heart out to win three-straight five-setters that lasted almost three hours each with less than 24 hours in between playdates.
“Wala na kong iniisip na pagod. Gusto ko na lang ibigay all-out para sa mga taong naniniwala at nagtitiwala sa akin,” she said.
In the third and most important match, Gonzaga was all-out to lift Cignal in the fifth set and outlast Petron, 30-28, 25-21, 17-25, 23-25, 15-8, for the last ticket to the All-Filipino Finals on Thursday at the Arena in San Juan City.
“Noong nasa loob ako ng court yung nasa utak ko, I will take over. Kailangan ko magstep up, kailangan ako ng team,” said Gonzaga, who finished with 17 points off 15 attacks and two blocks. “Hindi uso yung pagod, bawal mapagod. Kailangan ko pumunta sa Finals, kailangan ng team pumunta sa finals.”
The star opposite spiker from Guimaras and Rachel Anne Daquis, who had 22 points, were never wavered after blowing a two-set lead and continued to lead the whole team that inspired everyone stepped up in the fifth set to complete the series comeback.
“Ang lagi kong sinisigaw sa kanila sa loob ng court, ‘No excuses.’ Ibigay na natin ‘to hindi tayo lalabas sa court ng may regrets,” Gonzaga said.
The comebacking Gonzaga after a two-year lay-off due to ACL was in tears as she felt fulfilled that she still got game and was able to bring Cignal to the Finals.
“Nagpromise ako talaga kay ate Rachel, ‘Day matagal man ang pagbabalik ko promise ko I will give my very best para matulungan yung team na makaabot tayo sa Finals.’ Kinausap ko rin yung management,” the 27-year-old spiker said.
“Sobrang lahat nung pinagdaanan ko mula nung nainjury ako at hanggang ngayon, sobrang worth it. Nagpay-off sobrang cloud nine yung feeling, sobrang blessed lagi kong sinasabi Lord it’s all about you,” she added.
After a grueling stretch, Gonzaga finally had a breather on Friday before they take on F2 Logistics in Game 1 of their best-of-three Finals series starting on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
She has one promise.
“We promise our fans, our loved ones that we will give a good fight,” Gonzaga said.