VETERAN setter Tina Salak is finally calling it a career after more than two decades of playing volleyball.
After spending the day facilitating the Philippine Super Liga setting seminar with Korean coach Kim Keung Un, her black shirt dripping wet, Salak headed straight to the locker room, picked up a towel and a clean set of clothes to freshen up.
The Philippine Army corporal was told to just change her shirt as reporters were waiting to talk to her, but she said she needed to shower, saying in jest that it's part of getting old. Salak, though, granted a quick interview and shared a big surprise by declaring she will finally push through with her retirement, something she has been considering for the past two years
"Maliligo ako, alam no naman sumu-shonda na, baka sumakit na ang balakang ko," said a playful Salak who turns 40 on August 10.
"This year na lang," she added about when she really plans to retire. "Tatapusin ko na lang talaga ang contract ko sa PSL. Kasi kung aalis ako ngayon [mismo], ayaw ko ng ganoong exit. Ayaw ko sa character ko na bibigyan ko sila ng pangit na exit. Nasimulan ko tatapusin ko."
Salak, who started as a middle blocker then converted to utility spiker, had a decorated career from her time at Far Eastern University where she was part of the 1994 and 1995 champion teams in the UAAP. She was also a Philippine team member that captured the silver medal in the Chang Mai Southeast Asian Games and the bronze in the 2005 Manila SEA Games.
The Bacoor, Cavite native also skippered the Army team that won four titles in the PSL, making it the winningest team in the three-year old club league.
But volleyball never stops for Salak. After her final playing year, her next mission is to be a coach.
"Stepping stone tayo, kuha tayo ng coaching course, seminars. Hindi naman porke't national team member tayo or balibolista ako, magco-coach na ako kaagad. Hindi ganoon kadali, kailangan mag-aral nang mag-aral talaga" she said.