OVERLOOKED even by her former team, veteran Michelle Segodine proved she still has what it takes to compete even against today’s batch of players in the Philippine Super Liga.
The former utility spiker from Adamson now sees action for Cignal HD team, seven years after last playing competitive volleyball in 2008 as part of the Lady Falcons in the UAAP.
For personal reasons, the then 23-year-old Segodine left the San Marcelino-based school and worked as a corporate employee in Manila before deciding to go back to her hometown in Balibago, Angeles Pampanga.
But the itch to play the sport she loves most was too tempting to ignore that she decided to make a comeback this year.
“The people sa Facebook (were) inviting me na, ‘Maglaro ka na ulit,'” Segodine disclosed to Spin.ph.
She tried to find a team which she can call home including her former school. Unfortunately, she found no takers.
“Me, myself, I was even looking for coaches na sinong mag-a-adopt sa akin kasi even my home team (Adamson) is like, I feel ignored,” she admitted.
“Sorry for the word, but I wasn’t lucky enough na makabalik sa university na ginusto ko,” she continued with a tinge of regret in her voice. “Gusto ko man sana na makapaglaro for them, pero naghanap ako (ng team na kukuha sa akin). And then volleyball found me again.”
Despite not having played the game nor stepped on the taraflex for years, Segodine was urged by former teammate Jill Gustillo to try out for Mane ‘N Tail. She declined the invitation since she knew no one from the Lady Stallions.
Gustillo then suggested for Segodine to try her luck with Cignal, but she begged off for the second straight time.
But Gustillo insisted and told her the two of them will try out with both teams. In the end, Gustillo was signed up by Mane ‘N Tail and Segodine ended up with Cignal.
“La Salle Greenhills was the venue for the tryout. So andun ako, then nakita ako nila coach Sam (Acaylar),” Segodine recalled. “Hindi naman ako na-out of place. I was very welcome as a matter of fact. So they accepted me and gave me the chance na we want you in the team. So that’s where it started.”
No longer a spring chicken at 30, Segodine admitted her condition was not the same as before, saying she’s like a machine that needs an overhaul.
“Conditioning was, argh, ang hirap sobra,” she said. “Alam mo ‘yung from head to foot, sobrang hirap na mag-cope ka sa mga bago? Lalo na ‘yung mga bata ngayon yung mga players.”
“So ang hirap. Pero so far naman on the process, simula noong nag-tryout ako, nakakasabay naman.”
Although coming off the bench, the cheerful volleybelle has no plan to take it slow.
Segondine said she aims to push herself to the limit despite her age as she tries to keep up and show to the young guns that she remains the same player old-timers used to admire.
“Oo naman (yung dating Michelle Segondine) lalabas pa,” she said. “Kasi pinu-push naman natin yung sarili natin, like I said before na sumabay sa mga teammates ko ngayon.”
“I can’t be like, 'Oh mas matanda na ako sa kanila hindi ko na masasabayan.' Hindi naman dapat ganoon, dapat motivation ko yun na may ipapakita pa ako sa kanila. Na hindi nagkamali yung team na kinuha nila ako so si Michelle Segodine is still Michelle Segodine, I can say.”