It was one of the bigger surprises in the recently launched 2016 Philippine SuperLiga Invitationals when spiker Angge Tabaquero jumped ship to Foton—and suited up as the team’s libero.
While the former UST star is also famed for her impeccable floor defense, PH volleyball fans are more used to see her high leaping ability and good ball contact resulting to killer spikes.
Fortunately, the new position is just temporary for Tabaquero.
“My new role for this conference is libero, ang aking dream position,” she told FOX Sports. “Sa ngayon kasi, galing ako sa injury. I admit na ‘yung shoulders ko, hindi pa siya 100% talaga. Mahirap sumugal kasi ayaw ko siyang ipilit.”
“Kailangan pa niya ng strengthening kasi minsan pag pumapalo ako, kumakalas talaga siya,” she added. “Inaalagaan ako nung PT namin ngayon and ‘yung Foton pinapa-therapy ako kasi nga ihahabol nila ako for the All-Filipino Conference.”
After the unfortunate disbanding of her former team Cagayan Valley, everything was up in the air for the 2-time UAAP champion despite having a short stint with KIA in the Shakey’s V-League.
A reunion with former coaches and teammates from UST then became an offer too good to turn down which led her to committing with Foton for the rest of 2016.
“Last year pa nila ako tinatawagan. I can’t commit kasi under contract pa ako. And then last January 16, I got a call from coach Vilet (Ponce de Leon),” recalled the 5-foot-7 spiker. “Gusto daw nila ako sa team and I told her naman na medyo hindi 100% ‘yung balikat ko pero kaya ko makipagsabayan sa depensa for now.”
Aside from the head coach, Tabaquero will also be reuniting with assistant coach Yani Fernandez and fellow Season 72 champions Rhea Dimaculangan and Maika Ortiz.
Surprisingly, the outside hitter revealed she almost didn’t want to return to playing competitively this year due to the numerous injuries she experienced.
“May doubts ako before kung maglalaro pa ba ako this year kasi nga it’s kinda frustrating na. Suki ako ng injury eh,” she shared.
“Every time na okay na okay na ‘yung kundisyon ko eh may nangyayari na masama,” she added. “Pero yung tiwala ni coach Vilet (Ponce de Leon) na makakabalik ako sa spiking form, isa ‘yun sa nag boost ng morale ko.”
The passion for the sport that has served as her bread and butter for the longest time, however, never ceases to inspire her to keep trying as she attends daily training with strengthening and therapy on the side.
“I may be injured pero I won’t let that small bump stop me from playing volleyball,” declared the foremer national team captain. “Sa ngayon hindi man ako maka-contribute sa paluan at offense but definitely, I can contribute sa floor defense.”
“Like I said, babalik ako and I will try to redeem my self. Isa pang taon. 1 last year for volleyball,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio