From volleyball standout to basketball prospect
THE ROAD to stardom for University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancer Jan Monic Soliva has not been one lined with roses.
Rather, it’s been a narrow, pothole-filled path that has needed every bit of patience and resiliency from the 6-foot-4 forward to get to where he is right now — in the spotlight and on the verge of winning his very first Cesafi crown.
The Green Lancers own the most championships in the league’s colorful 16-year history with 10. However, they have not won one since 2013, hence their relentlessness in their desire to gain back the throne which has belonged to them so many times.
At the front of the pack is Soliva, who, after a gem of a series-opener where he scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, submitted a fitting follow-up of 10 points and 14 rebounds in Game 2, which was enough to give him back-to-back Best Player of the Game citations.
Asked to reflect on the journey so far, the 22-year-old said he has indeed come a long way from playing varsity volleyball in high school back in his hometown of Maasin to becoming a hot prospect down south.
“I’ve gone a long way in my career. I think my game has developed. I hope I’d be blessed in the next chapters of my career,” shared Soliva in a talk after their practice session on Tuesday night.
A standout volleyball player in high school, Soliva chose to take up basketball full-time and try his luck at a better education in the Queen City of the South. He soon found himself a home in the backyard of reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo over at the University of Cebu in 2010.
However, he never got to suit up for the Webmasters as academic troubles hounded him during his brief time there.
“I had a lot of academic troubles there. I didn’t pass in two subjects,” shared Soliva with a sly grin.
Not long after, he landed in UV and soon debuted during the 2014 season, a disastrous one for the Green Lancers as they failed to advance past the semifinal round.
The following year, Soliva found himself on the sidelines once again as academic problems once again resurfaced.
After a year of intense dedication to work, both on the floor and inside the classroom, Soliva earned himself a spot back on the Green Lancers and the rest they say, is soon to be history.
“This is really just a product of the hard work of our team and the determination to recapture the championship.”
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