IT wasn't until after college that Jovelyn Gonzaga brought her game to Manila but had she decided to play varsity ball in the big city, it would have been for Ramil de Jesus' La Salle Lady Spikers.
Gonzaga said De Jesus was among coaches who attempted to recruit her when she was playing for Central Philippine University in Iloilo.
But Gonzaga opted to stay in Iloilo because of her fear of being far from her family in Guimaras.
“Isa na dun na gusto ko maging coach, si Ramil De Jesus,” Gonzaga said during a recent episode of SPIN Sidelines. “Gusto ko talaga siya maging coach kaya lang, takot talaga ako mag-Manila.
It would have been a recruiting coup for La Salle, already a consistent title contender.
Even when Gonzaga made it to the national team including being the skipper in 2017, she never got the chance to play for De Jesus.
The closest perhaps came when De Jesus was tapped head coach of the Philippines in 2018 but later resigned from the post before any major tournaments were played. Gonzaga also suffered an injury that forced her to miss the Asian Games that year.
“Never ko naging coach si coach Ramil which is gusto ko rin ma-experience siya maging coach,” said Gonzaga.
But she says she has no regrets over missing that opportunity to be mentored by the multi-titled coach.
Gonzaga will forever be grateful to the mentors that honed her game over the years beginning her time early days in the sport.
“Lahat ng mga coaches, gusto ko,” said Gonzaga with a smile.