Aby Maraño to Ara Galang-Passing the Torch
Published on November 26th, 2014 | by Camilla Saguin
Passing the torch of Lady Spikers’ leadership: Aby Maraño to Ara Galang:
After the painful defeat that the De La Salle University women’s volleyball team endured in UAAP season 76, team captain Aby Maraño now steps back and passes the responsibility of reclaiming the Lady Spikers’ lost glory to fourth year player Ara Galang.
Rehashing the nightmare
In season 75 the DLSU Lady Spikers captured the elusive 3-peat after beating their rivals Ateneo in the finals. All eyes were on them to make history once again come UAAP 76.
DLSU started their UAAP season 76 campaign strong, beating team after team and eventually sweeping the elimination round which gave them an automatic trip to the finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. “Nung nakuha namin yung sweep sinabi ko sa teammates ko na dapat mas uhaw pa kami na manalo. Hindi natin pwede isipin na wala tayong talo, na walang tumalo satin” says Aby Maraño.
As for Ara Galang getting that sweep meant that they were one step closer to their goal, “Nung nakuha namin yung sweep medyo kampante ako pero hindi yung totally complacent so excited ako nun kasi syempre palapit na kami sa goal namin. Konti nalang nadun na kami”.
The DLSU Lady Spikers then faced Ateneo in the finals where the Lady Eagles rallied to beat the defending champions three times in four games, “Siguro maganda lang talaga yung nilaro nung Ateneo nun, tapos kami hindi yun yung best namin. Alam namin na hindi ganun yung laro talaga namin” recalls Ara, “hindi lang siguro talaga namin nalabas yung A game namin”.
Getting back up
Right after season 76 Ara Galang somewhat felt helpless but at the same time she also knew that she had to accept what happened, “after matalo syempre lahat disappointed, yung coaches, yung Lasallian community, pati yung fans, pero wala ng magagawa. Masakit sa loob namin lahat yun pero kailangan nalang talaga dun is to accept na natalo na talaga kami”.
Aby Maraño on the other hand felt that the loss helped her learn how to accept defeat, “totoo yung even the best fall down sometimes. Ang sakit balikan pero I think nangyayari talaga yun sa isang ateleta na makaramdam ka ng pagkatalo” says Aby “hindi ako sanay na natatalo pero from there I took it as a challenge na I told myself that I should accept defeat in order for me to become stronger and become a better player”.
Passing the torch
During Aby’s rookie year, coach ramil already saw her leadership potential “Nung first year ako actually sinabihan na niya ko na in the future I might be the team captain of this team kasi nature ko talaga yung nagsasalita ako. Kahit nung rookie ako nagsasalita ako sa seniors ko”.
It did not take long for Aby to fully accept her role as the team captain of the Lady Spikers, “Before pa umalis si ate cha dahan dahan ko ng inaaccept sa sarili ko na nagiging senior na ko ng team and that I need to step up for the team. Kailangan medyo marunong ka na mag handle ng teammates mo na medyo iba iba yung characters”.
“It’s tough to be the team captain of La Salle but it is tougher to be a captain of yourself” adds Aby, “how will you show your teammates that you’re not tired that you’re not scared, na dapat lagi ka matapang sa harap ng teammates mo. Kailangan palaban ka. Pakita mo sa kanila na buhay ka pa. Medyo nahirapan ako dun pero sinabi sakin ni coach na kailangan tiyagain ko kasi he wants me to become a great leader. Yun ang pinanghawakan ko talaga”.
Ara Galang however can be considered the opposite of Aby as she is quiet and reserved, “hindi kasi talaga ako masalita kaya nung una ayaw ko talaga tanggapin na maging captain. Hindi naman sa ayaw ko lang pero para kasi sakin malaking responsibility yun and for me hindi ko pa kasi kaya. Hindi pa ko ready”, Ara admits, “pero kasi pag tinaggihan ko yan parang ang weak ko naman. Iisipin ni coach na yun palang hindi ko na agad kaya. So I accepted the role”.
For UAAP 77, Ara plans to prove her worth and to approach her teammates the same way she always has, “sabi nga sakin ni ate Mok (Mika Esperanza) na wala naman talaga akong kailangan baguhin. Ganun parin. Kasi ako kinakausap ko sila individually hindi ako yung type na magsasalita sa kanila as a group. Pero if kailanganin ng teammates ko na maging ganun ako syempre I will try na maging ganun sakanila. Kailangan ko panindigan. Since nabigay na sakin yung role ng pagiging captain, ipapakita ko kung ano yung kaya ko”
Reclaiming the crown
This coming UAAP season will be very unusual for new captain Ara Galang as this will be the first time that she will be entering a season where her team is not the defending champion, “excited ako for this season kasi iba ngayon. Hindi kami yung defending champion, hindi kami number one”.
Despite not finishing on top last season, Ara Galang still feels the pressure, “kahit hindi kami yung defending champion may pressure parin. Actually parang mas grabe pa yung pressure kasi lahat expecting na kaya na, na makakabawi. Pero ako basta take it one game at a time lang and kailangan lang naman lahat kami mag effort talaga kasi feeling ko naman lumakas yung team namin. Lahat maasahan ngayon pati yung bench players”.
When asked if they feel that the Lady Spikers will reclaim the championship this coming season, Ara humbly answered with “we will work on it” but Aby Maraño’s answer, will give goose bumps to every supporter, “ako confident ako na champion tayo this year. Pinanghahawakan ko talaga yung sinabi nung mga bata na ibabawi nila ko this season 77, at ako never talaga ako nag doubt sa mga batang yan. Naniniwala ako na babalikan nila yung sino man yung tumalo samin at muli natin ibabalik yung corona sa La Salle. Kahit sino man diyan makipagpustahan sakin sasabihin ko talaga sakanila na La Salle”.