USJ-R volleybelle sets aside rivalry with USC for one goal: Win the gold in the Prisaa National Games
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Awkward was how Daniella Alfeche described her first few days with the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors women’s volleyball team.
This because the 20-year-old middle blocker is a member of USC’s fiercest rival, the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars women’s volleyball team.
There is a storied rivalry between USC and USJ-R.
Not only did USC deny USJ-R the women’s volleyball title in the 2018 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) tournament, but it also achieved the feat under former Jaguars coach, Grace Antigua.
“Awkward kaayo kay rival kaayo namo ang USC pero kadugayan kay ni jam ra ko nila,” said Alfeche.
(It was very awkward because USC is our rival but I was able to jam with them later on.)
It has been four months since Alfeche started training with USC.
She was asked by Antigua to join the team as they prepared to represent Cebu in the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) Regional Games last February in Bohol and now Central Visayas in the ongoing PRISAA National Games here in Davao City.
Despite having qualms of joining the “enemy,” Alfeche said yes to Antigua, who has been her coach since she started playing for USJ-R four years ago.
Antigua has helmed USJ-R to several titles before transferring to USC last year.
“Dili ra ni about sa team but it’s about Region 7,” Alfeche added.
(This is not about the team but it’s about Region 7.)
Asked what was it like training with USC, Alfeche said “it’s different but they didn’t put a gap or did anything that would put me out of place.”
According to Alfeche, her USJ-R teammates sometimes teased her about already being a Warrior, but that she knew that they understood the situation.
“I also found it worth it being part of the team because they are champions,” said Alfeche.
Alfeche is not the only one who is not a USC Warriors in the Central Visayas women’s volleyball team as they are also joined by Jum Marie Gayo of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF).
From USC are team captain Rose Marie Malagar, Jelyn Aca-ac, Jinianne Kyrch Berdos, Aeryk Joan Cenabre, Leigh Laurence Cortes, Lei Shannia Cuizon, Hovelita dela Silva, Jaslyn Geconcillo, Kirstine Lozano, Mary Louise Querubin, Sheila Ricahuerta and Jasmin Rica Uy.
Indeed, Alfeche and Gayo fitted right into the team as they helped it earn the right to represent Central Visayas in the ongoing 2019 PRISAA National Games, wherein they have already won two games—one against Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) and the other against Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) on the first day of hostilities. /bmjo
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