- March 05, 2023 13:45
By Trisha Marie L. Abuyan
The cancellation of University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 83 urged Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws’ playmaker Gel Cayuna to skip her final playing year, and she is set to join BanKo Perlas Spikers line-up along with former college teammate Heather Guino-o.
The 22-year-old shared with FEU Advocate that it was already on her mind since last season to finish her final playing year. However, the plan was called off due to the cancellation of UAAP season 83, following the continuous threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Last season buo na talaga decision ko na tapusin [ang] playing year kaya lang na-cancel dahil sa COVID-19. So baka 2022 pa ata babalik ang UAAP sa pagkakaalam ko kaya naisipan ko na ibigay na lang sa teammates ko ang slot (My decision last season to end my playing year was not yet final, but due to COVID-19, it was cancelled. So, it seems that UAAP will return in 2022 as far as I know, so I thought to just give my slot to my teammates),” she shared.
It can be recalled last year that the collegiate league also cancelled the remaining events of season 82 due to the extension of enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
The five-foot-seven setter’s focus is on the pro league as she and Guino-o are the latest addition to the line-up of the bronze holder last 2019 Premiere Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.
The Tamaraw mentality-training program of the Perlas is the deciding point on why she joined them. Also, her former college mentors, coach Rei Diaz and coach Manolo Refugia are part of the team.
“Kasi sa Perlas andun sila coach Rei and coach Manolo. Kaya ko rin nagustuhan do’n and siyempre ‘yung training program nila, ‘yung pagiging dugong Tamaraw andun pa rin (Because in Perlas, they have coach Rei and coach Manolo. I also liked their training program, being a Tamaraw is still there),” Cayuna said.
The former Lady Tamaraw stated that it is an advantage for her to enter Perlas with Guino-o since their communication and bond are present and they are already familiar with each other’s gameplay, which can hopefully reflect in their games.
They last played together for the green and gold in 2019 where they battled the season’s champion Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Lady Eagles in a do-or-die semi-final.
Cayuna was the main setter for the Morayta-based squad last year who tallied 18 excellent sets and nine markers in their 82nd season opener game against University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors.
Moving to the professional league, she is excited to expand her knowledge and improve as a professional volleyball player.
The BanKo Perlas, Creamline, Choco Mucho, Petro Gazz, and Balipure/Chef’s Classics are the five teams confirmed their participation in the bubble set-up this coming May at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna.
(File photo from Precious Diamond Farro/FEU Advocate)