It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up, and for Cignal’s Jovelyn Gonzaga, nothing can make her stop from playing volleyball — not injury, not fatigue, not doubts.
Gonzaga and the HD Spikers pulled off a huge stunner when they eke out a 30-28, 25-21, 17-25, 23-25, 15-8 win Thursday and dethroned Petron Blaze Spikers in the do-or-die semifinals to move to the Finals of the Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) All Filipino Conference 2019.
It was a huge win for Gonzaga.
Two years ago, the former national team spiker was acquired by Cignal alongside Rachel Ann Daquis to provide their veteran expertise in their hunt for the elusive PSL crown.
The HD Spikers were successful in notching their first title when they won the Invitationals Cup behind the eventual MVP’s efforts.
But in a stunning twist of fate, a knee injury sidelined Gonzaga that same year, forcing the one-time champions to move through four indoor conferences sans the lefty’s crafty hitting and defensive prowess.
Now back from injury, Gonzaga couldn’t help but feel emotional as her more than a year of hard work recovering from a torn ACL is now paying off.
“I’m so thankful kay Lord. Si Lord talaga ang may control ng lahat. Thankful ako sa lahat ng nagtitiwala. Worth it ‘yunh paghihintay ko, and lagi kong sinasabi sa management na babawi ako sa kanila. Sobrang nakakataba ng puso,” said a teary Gonzaga as Cignal broke a two-year Finals drought.
Gonzaga has been nothing but busy woman for the past three days.
Simultaneously playing for Cignal in the PSL and for her mother club in the rival league, the 5-foot-7 opposite hitter went through — and all won — three consecutive five-setter matches within the last 72 hours.
The Central Philippine University alum finished with two double-double and one triple-double performance, with 17-point and 21-dig output as her most recent.
But while the week has been tough, Gonzaga showed no signs of stopping any time soon as her passion for the sports prevailed over fatigue.
Like two sides of the same coin — one not existing without the other — Gonzaga said that she will never stop playing volleyball amid injury and all.
“Siguro ‘yung passion kasi talaga. Ayoko tumigil. Na-injured man ako, ayoko tumigil kasi mahal ko ‘yung sports. Mahal ko ang volleyball. Kulang ako ‘pag walang volleyball,” she said.
Gonzaga came through in the all-important ticks of the 2 hours and 31 minutes long encounter after Cignal allowed to erstwhile defending champs to force an extension.
She breathed fire as the ladies in red gunned for a massive 8-point run in the fifth after being down by one, 11-4.
From then on, it was all Cignal despite Petron’s late three-point efforts as Ranya Musa punched the back-to-back game-winner hits for the win.
Now locked against a well-rested F2 Logistics, who swept them on both occasions during the prelims, in the Finals, Gonzaga said they just want to cherish their sweet semis victory first before going back to work to prepare for the Saturday clash.
“For now, ie-enjoy namin ‘yung victory. Hindi pa namin iniisip ‘yung F2 Logistics. Gusto naming i-cherish ‘yung moment and after no’n doon na kami magge-game plan,” she closed.
(Image from Facebook/Philippine SuperLiga)