NO language barrier can stop Margot Mutshima from making an impressive debut for National University.
The Congolese spiker became the first foreign player in UAAP women’s volleyball since kiwi Amy Ahomiro, who last played for Ateneo last 2015.
She didn’t disappoint after exploding with 23 points in NU’s five-set stunner over University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
When interviewed by the reporters, the soft-spoken recruit from Congo can only say that she’s happy with the win since she is more fluent in French.
Mutshima didn’t need to say more words to introduce herself in the UAAP as she already did it by letting her game do the talking.
Filipina-Japanese skipper Risa Sato knows exactly how her foreign teammates feels right now as she also had to deal with language barrier.
That’s why the team captain is hands on in guiding Mutshima in practices and games for her to have better connection with the team.
“Marunong siya na easy-easy words. Sa training, sinasabi ko lang sa kanya lagi, 'Margot, smile. Happy-happy. You look at me.' Mga ganun lang tinuturo ko sa kanya.!Nag-uusap naman po kami,” Sato said. “Ako rin, dati, hindi ako marunong mag-English and Tagalog, pero naiintindihan ko.“
Besides Sato, Mutshima also has libero Jennifer Nierva on her side to connect her with their teammates and guide her with the plays.
“I think ako yung pinaka-vocal sa team. Ako yung laging, 'Margo, ganito.' In English, barok English. It's like this, 'Margot, understand. Margot, you spike hard, like that.' Ganun po talaga,” Nierva said. “Pag may gusto siyang sabihin, siya mismo lalapit sa akin.”
“Ako lagi kasi libero ako so kailangan, magkaroon ako ng connection sa spiker ko. Once they're connected to me, alam nilang nasa likod lang nila ako, wala nang doubt e. Lalabas na yung laro niya,” she added.
Mutshima amazed the NU community and several volleyball fans in her rousing debut, but Nierva insists that the best is yet to come for their go to spiker so watch out.
“Sa tingin niyo po very good game na yan, pero madami pa po siyang ipapakita. Very happy ako sa game niya today, pero madami pa yan. Magugulat na lang kayo,” Nierva said.