Leaving Choco Mucho was ‘hardest goodbye’ for Bea de Leon

Posted by watchmen
February 10, 2024
Posted in SPORTS


BEA DE LEON (PVL Media Bureau photo)
BEA DE LEON (PVL Media Bureau photo)

Volleyball star Bea de Leon still feels a whirlwind of emotions after her move from the Choco Mucho Flying Titans to the Creamline Cool Smashers in the offseason of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).

De Leon has a shared history with fellow middle blocker Maddie Madayag, beginning with their college triumphs with the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP.

Their bond deepened further in Choco Mucho, before De Leon and libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla left in January.

While De Leon embraces the chance for a new beginning, bidding farewell to the Flying Titans also weighed heavily on her heart.

“It was one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve ever done. You know, just looking at them, seeing them take their team picture, I can’t help but feel sad and happy at the same time,” said De Leon on Thursday, February 8, when Creamline and Choco Mucho signed a sponsorship deal in Mandaluyong.

“Whenever you’re in a team, it’s always the people that make it feel like home, and I always felt that with them. But I felt that, career-wise, volleyball-wise, this was the proper move for me, system-wise especially. I’ve been seeing them every day for — I can’t even count anymore — eight years. It’s been such a change,” she added.

Madayag, who is now the new team captain of the Flying Titans, acknowledged the void that De Leon left and spoke fondly of their partnership.

“Syempre, nalungkot kami kasi nga matagal na kaming magkasama nila Kat [Tolentino], nila Bea, nila Deanna [Wong], pero it’s part of life, kung sa tingin niya mas mag-grow sa isang team na ito, dun siya,” she said.

“Ayaw naman naming siya, kumbaga, dito ka, comfort zone mo ‘yan, gusto niya lumabas sa comfort zone niya, gusto pa niya mag-explore pa,” she added.

Meanwhile, Creamline captain Alyssa Valdez is eagerly anticipating her reunion with De Leon.

“I saw them, Bea, Maddie and Therese [Gaston], together, nung rookies sila. Kami ang seniors dun. So sobrang daming history, sobrang daming memories,” Valdez said.

“But I think one thing, I was very excited about. Syempre iba na ‘yung way of play namin this time [in] our careers. I’m just very excited kung ano ’yung mga matututunan ko ulit sa kanila.”

De Leon, for her part, relishes the fresh start and looks forward to teaming up with the “Phenom” again.

“She was my captain for two years when I was a rookie, when I was in my sophomore year, and really she’s guided me through everything. Whatever I am today, she is a big part of it,” she added.

The new PVL season opens on February 20. (ABS-CBN News)

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