MANILA, Philippines – The hashtag #MIKApitana trended as soon as the news of former De La Salle University Lady Spikers star Mika Reyes’s appointment as national team captain for the Southeast Asian Games was disclosed. The former Taft standout was tasked to lead the Philippine team in this year’s Games, following the announcement of the 18-man lineup on Friday, May 19.
The report, however, drew mixed reactions from the volleyball community as not everyone warmed up to the idea of Reyes at the helm.
But for national team head coach Francis Vicente, the decision wasn’t that hard for him and the rest of the coaching staff.
“Nakita ko ‘yung dedication niya sa ensayo,” said Vicente of his decision to designate the former UAAP champ as captain ball. “[Nakita ko] kung papaano siya sa teammates niya pati sa coaches.”
(I saw her dedication during practice－ how she treats her teammates and coaches.)
“It was my first time to meet her. Na-impress ako, nagulat ako. Pinag-usapan namin ng coaching staff, ‘yun ang unanimously lumabas－ na siya ‘yung naboto namin.”
(It was my first time to meet her. I was impressed. I talked to the coaching staff and it was a unanimous decision.)
Reyes stole the show in last Monday’s Clash of Heroes event, as she led the Pilipinas-Blue squad to a come-from-behind 19-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-15, 15-10 victory against the Pilipinas-Red roster.
The Petron star tallied 17 markers off 10 kills, 4 aces, and 3 kill blocks and landed the Player of the Game citation in the tourney.
Hard work and positivity
With the 18-man pool already on the table, the University of the East head coach noted that the real hard work is just beginning.
“I’m a very passionate coach; I want results,” shared Vicente.
“Basta trabaho lang tayo. Trabaho lang nang trabaho hanggang sa makuha natin ang tagumpay na gusto nating mangyari (We just need to do our work. We’ll work until we achieve the victory we’ve always desired).”
“Aim high, always be positive,” the veteran mentor added. “Trabaho lang; no excuses. Kahit gaano kahirap yan, no excuses (Just keep working; no excuses. No matter how hard it gets, [there should be] no excuses.)
Aby Maraño, Reyes’ teammate during their collegiate days, likewise took time to extend her gratitude for a;; the fans’ unending support for the national team.
“Sa lahat po ng mga Pilipino na sumusuporta po sa team namin, maraming salamat po. Sana po tuloy ang suporta ‘nyo. Hindi ‘nyo alam kung gaanong kalaking impact ang nabibigay ‘nyo sa aming mga atleta.”
(To all Filipinos who support our team, thank you very much. I hope you continue to support us. You don’t know the huge impact you guys make for us athletes.)
“Alam namin sa hirap at ginhawa, nandiyan pa rin kayo. Whether manalo or matalo, andyan kayo. Maraming salamat po (We know that through thick and thin, win or lose, you guys will always be there. Thank you very much).” －Rappler.com
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