Every year since the first All-Star Games, men’s basketball has been the only sport featured. Now, the annual competition will also include women’s volleyball! So, on August 25 at the Araneta Coliseum, catch Team Julia Barretto and Team Kim Chiu battle it out with the help of your favorite Kapamilya actresses as well as some of the biggest professional athletes and coaches in the country.
According to San Sebastian’s Lady Stags head coach Roger Gorayeb, volleyball started gaining popularity in 2004. This was the year ABS-CBN began televising the games of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). Eventually, it was the famous rivalry between De La Salle University (DLSU) and Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) that pushed the sport into mainstream media.
Now, as Star Magic readies itself for its first All-Star volleyball game, Gretchen Ho recruited some of her former teammates to help shape the players. “They’re very passionate,” Alyssa Valdez described the Star Magic Spikers. She is amazed at how much the actresses value the sport. “I’m just really looking forward to watch them and really see them improve in volleyball,” she stated.
Amy Ahomiro is glad to see positive attitude and eagerness to learn all around. Jia Morado thinks that it is refreshing to just having fun. “Nakakalimutan na ng karamihan ngayon na naglalaro na the reason why you’re playing is because it’s fun,” she added. Meanwhile, Gretchen is excited for the chance to inspire fans, especially the younger generation, “it sends a message to everyone na kaya n’yo din.”
Finally, the tryouts began. On the first day, middle blockers Ahomiro and Jaja Santiago offered their expertise. On the second day, Valdez geared up to whip the Star Magic Spikers into shape. She believes that not everyone is born talented. Even she had to work hard to be where she is today.
“Time na naming mga babae para mag-shine sa sports,” Loisa Andalio declared. Ashley Colet has been waiting for this opportunity for years. Apparently, there have been attempts to form a women’s volleyball team before. Vivoree Esclito thinks that this can empower them more. Yasmyne Suarez is looking forward to proving that they are not just performers but also athletic role models.
Some of them like Loisa, Vivoree and Alora Sasam already have previous experiences. Others like GT (GirlTrend) member Chienna Filomeno just want to try something new since this will be for women. With or without experience, everyone is having fun and learning a lot of from the pros. “Marami akong nalaman na technique na ngayon ko lang nalaman,” Loisa shared. It was certainly overwhelming to work with athletes that they used to only watch on television.
“The ladies have something to show,” Captain Julia Barretto promised. Growing up, she had an active lifestyle because of her father and got to play badminton, ice skating as well as tennis. But it was volleyball that stuck with her after seeing varsity players in training. Eventually she also gave the sport a try and became a varsity herself.
For the All-Star Games, ADMU Lady Eagles head coach Oliver Almadro will be leading team Julia. Much like Gorayeb, he too believes that volleyball gained popularity because of ABS-CBN’s TV coverage. So, of course he would want to give back to the network by being part of this event. He also knows that this will be a good cause to encourage the youth. In preparation, he hopes they would be able to master the fundamentals such as properly saving the ball.
On the other hand, Kim Chiu was merely forced to try the sport. Back in high school, there were only 12 girls in her class, “Kailangan sumali or else bagsak kayo sa P.E.” Luckily, this led her to discover a new skill. Now, she aims to show a new side to actresses.
Helping Kim will be University of Santo Tomas’ Lady Tigresses head coach Kung Fu Reyes. He is excited to share with others what happens inside the court and how discipline is developed. Basics and proper form will be key in their training. He trusts that each of the players are competitive on their own.
“It’s one of the best sports out there,” Julia continued. So, do not miss the ladies’ big game on August 25 at the Araneta Coliseum.
This year, Kapamilyas would also get to witness Team Gerald and Team Daniel join forces to become the Star Magic Warriors and go up against team It’s Showtime All Stars which will be led by co-captains Vice Ganda and Vhong Navarro.