AS he lunged for a spike to score the championship point for National University in the UAAP men’s volleyball Finals, Peter Torres pumped his fists before celebrating while lying flat on his back on the taraflex floor of The Arena in San Juan.
That gratifying scene completed the successful transformation of the 19-year-old native of Leyte from a basketball player to a full-fledged volleyball star.
Only three years removed from playing competitive basketball in high school, Torres delivered the telling blows in the endgame of the Bulldogs’ 26-24, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19 victory over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws that gave the school its first-ever UAAP men's volleyball title.
A seldom-used member of the Leyte National High School juniors’ cage team, the 6-foot-3 Torres was eventually noticed by the school’s volleyball coach, who convinced the gangling cager to try a new sport.
“Kasi parang nag-enjoy ako dun kasi nung lumipat ako ng volleyball, welcoming yung mga tao, lagi ako tinuturuan, mababait kaya nung tumagal, nakahiligan ko na,” he said recalling his early days learning in the game.
After registering 15 points on the way to being named Finals MVP, Torres now has the reassurance that he made the right decision to switch sports.
“Sobrang saya at sobrang blessed kasi worth it lahat ng ginawa namin, lahat ng pinaghirapan namin, na na-accomplish namin goal namin.”
With the Bulldogs’ breakthrough title, the third-year college student-athlete is definitely looking forward to more titles to come.
“Tiyaga lang at tiwala. Pagbubutihin namin kasi syempre babawi at babawi rin sila at marami rin ang gustong mag-champion.”