After NT stint, Coach Air believes Paat should play in other countries

IT is a known fact that Mylene Paat is a last-minute addition to the Indonesia-bound national team for the 2018 Asian Games after Ces Molina and Myla Pablo bolted out due to recurring injuries.

But while she was not initially part of the original 20-woman training pool, Paat proved she is a worthy addition. And that she rightly deserves her spot in the national team.

Among the NT members, the 24-year old opposite spiker has the least experience when it comes to international stints.

Despite this, her debut in the international stage exceeded all expectations.

In fact, in their seven games during the Asian Games, Paat was the third best scorer of the team culling a total of 40 points behind mainstays Jaja Santiago and Alyssa Valdez’ outputs of 78 and 68 points, respectively.

Some 2,800 kilometers away from where the Asian Games is being held, a person — known to Paat — has been following the games of the Philippine squad.

She is no less than Paat’s collegiate mentor, Air Padda.

In an exclusive interview with FOX Sports Philippines in Manila, Coach Padda could not hide her happiness when she saw Paat finally ‘flying on her own.’

For Padda, the coaches made the right choice of adding Paat to the current NT roster.

“That’s the best choice they ever made having her as a last minute addition,” she said.

She added that although Paat was not a ‘priority’ choice, it gave the latter more motivation to work harder in order to get a playing time.

“[I]t’s the players like her who know they have to work their a** off in order to get konti lang playing time,” Padda said. “And it’s players like her who you’re gonna be able depend on in there cause she’s not gonna stop fighting, she’s not gonna get cocky.”

She added: “That’s why you’re seeing that she’s doing well because she’s working so hard for it.”

According to Padda, most notable of Paat’s first international game appearance is the match against Kazakhstan.

“I was watching the game (against Kazakhstan), and I feel like she’s one of my babies. I’m so happy to see her finally flying on her own,” the proud mentor said.

“Sobrang proud of my baby,” Padda added.

And Paat actually did not disappoint as she delivered crucial points against Kazakhstan as she tallied 14 points built from 11 attacks, two aces, and a block.

Coach Padda likewise recommended that Paat, given her athleticism and high volleyball IQ, should go and play in other countries after her excellent debut in the Asian Games.

“She needs to get out of the Philippines and compete at a higher level consistently because she’s one of the few players that have the athletic ability,” Padda said.

Padda added: “She works really hard. She’s someone who can go to a different country and play so when she comes back to compete for her national team, she would be able to do even more than what she did during this Asian Games.”

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