By ADRIAN STEWART CO
The current Covid-19 pandemic did not stop Bacolodnon middle blocker Joan Marie Monares from preparing for her impending move to the University of the Philippines’ (UP) women’s volleyball team.
Monares, a former standout of Bacolod Tay Tung High School Thunderbolts, was using the lull to prepare herself physically and mentally to the challenge posed by her Fighting Maroons transfer.
“It’s a dream come true for me to play in Manila. I am looking forward to this new chapter of my life. This is a great opportunity and a huge stepping stone to my volleyball career,” Monares said.
“I have been practicing to prepare myself physically and mentally, I am doing some workout here and doing some drills and I am also meditating to relax myself,” added the 5-foot-10 volleybelle.
The 18-year-old Monares admitted that, while she was delighted with the Fighting Maroons commitment, she also felt sad to be away from her family in Bacolod City for the first time.
“I have mixed emotions. I am anxious because I will be away from my family and I will be facing a whole new environment. But, I am willing to go through everything,” she said.
“There will be a lot of adjustments for me at UP. New school, new team, new training program and whatnot,” she added. “Good thing my experience with Bacolod Tay Tung has taught me to trust myself, be strong, tough, optimistic, and content.”
Monares was one of the six rookie recruits of Fighting Maroons head coach Godfrey Okumu for UAAP Season 83 aside from Antiquena Irah Anika Jaboneta, Kirstin Ojeda, Ricalie Alukso, Gianna Faith Pring, and Nikkie Joy Baldizanzo./ASC, WDJ