No Role Too Small For Angge Tabaquero

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“He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.” 

These were the exact words of Ma. Angeli ‘Angge’ Tabaquero after she was asked to give a comment about being replaced as the Power Pinays team captain for the upcoming Asian Women’s Club Championship (AWCC) to be held on April 16-25 at Nakhompatom, Thailand.

Last Monday, along with the announcement of the 14 names who will be flying to Asia’s volleyball mecca for a 2-week training and a 10-day competition, it was made official by Philippine Super Liga president Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara that Rachel Anne Daquis will supersede Angge as the squad’s captain ball.

Though still included in the line-up, many fans were curious on how the 24-year old Cagayan Lady Rising Suns’ skipper took the news.

“Actually, yung pagiging captain ball naman it’s just a title eh,” clears Tabaquero. “With all the veterans in the line-up, mapasama ka lang sa kanila isang malaking karangalan na.”

As graceful as she is on the court, the former captain took the news in stride as she clarified that it really is not an issue.

In fact, she was even all praises for Philippine Army’s open hitter and incoming Power Pinays TVolution captain, Rachel Anne Daquis.

“We all know how good she is as a player and as a leader.”

“With all the training and the experience I’m going to get, who am I to ask for more?” says the ever-smiling Angge. “This is a team sport and we are all team players kaya no hard feelings at all.”  

A More Experienced Batch of Power Pinays

With the infusion of 3-time Olympic gold medalist Regla Bell and Japan ace setter Misao Tanyama as guest players, veterans Mary Jean Balse, Micmic Laborte, Lizlee Ann Gata, Mitch Datuin and Suzanne Roces are expected to lead this team to a much-coveted podium finish.

Good support will also be provided by young and talented players like Honey Royse Tubino, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Jheck Dionela, Arriane Argarin and Jaja Santiago who will complete the 14-woman delegation to the AWCC.

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With the reinforced line-up, Angge believes they have a great chance to have a good finish in the upcoming Asian tournament.

“Karamihan kasi mga beterano na, may mga experience na, mga dating national team players,” she adds. “Kaya tiwala ako na this team, especially with Ate Ging, has the ability to do well in the competition.”

Though this is not their first time to play internationally together, Tabaquero is psyched about the fact that she will get to play with her senior back in college, Mary Jean ‘Ging’ Balse, again.

In a previous interview, she revealed that the reason she wanted to study at the University of Santo Tomas a couple of years back was because she badly wanted to be teammates with her “Ate Ging.”

“Nawala na yung pagka-starstruck ko sa kanya pero yung respeto, ang taas pa din,” she quipped. “She will always be my idol and my senior.”

“I’m sure with all the experience and the kind of leadership that she has, along with Rachel, we would all be in good hands.”

Angge On Her Career and Her FHM Cover

In FHM’s April 2014 issue, Angge, along with Super Liga volleybelles Mitch Datuin, Abby Praca, Jed Montero and Liss Gohing surprised the volleyball community as they appeared in skimpy swimwear on the cover of the men’s magazine.

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Tabaquero may be known for her feisty and intimidating persona on-court, but she is also famous for always being nice and sweet especially to her legions of fans which is the reason her appearance on the magazine came as a surprise.

So what made her say yes?

“Before pa naman ang shoot, na-explain na samin na sports related yung article,” she clarifies. “Kaya it was never a problem for me.”

She admits, though, that she had to ask for her parent’s permission before doing the cover.

“Ayaw ko naman na bigla na lang magulat sila na nandun ako, diba?” Angge adds, laughing. ” Kaya I had to mention it to my parents,”

“They just said na basta hindi super revealing which is what happened naman: Nothing too revealing.”

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With the newfound fame of her beloved sport, all the mileage, the TV coverage, the magazine covers and her continuous inclusion in the national team, it is both endearing and refreshing to hear one of the most recognizable faces in local volleyball downplay her current prominence.

“You know, sa totoo lang, I’m just here to live my dream just like everyone else,” she said. “It’s not about the fame or the money anymore.”

“It is now about the fulfillment I have inside that I was able to make my dream come true: To play for the national team.”

“And when your dreams start to happen right before your very eyes, you don’t stop, eh.”

“You dream bigger. You dream for more.”

You see, they say nothing is constant in this world but change. I beg to disagree.

I have seen fame change many people but not this bubbly and humble girl.

The fact is, her ability to leap high will one day fade.

Her powerful spikes will most likely dwindle.

But her sunny personality and the warmth and sincerity she exudes every time you have an encounter with her?

It will surely outlast any amount of fame or skill she has or will have in the future.

Captain or not, good luck, Angge! Good luck, Power Pinays! The entire country, though not physically present, will be 100% behind all of you. Laban Pilipinas!

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Tabaquero to miss some games in PH Super Liga

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MANILA, Philippines — Lady Rising Suns’ team captain Angeli “Angge” Tabaquero is expected to miss out most of Cagayan’s games in the elimination round of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix, which will kick-off tomorrow, November 10, 2013, 1p.m. at the San Juan Arena.

Tabaquero, who recently underwent Arthroscopy to relieve the pain she has been feeling on her right shoulder, will not be seeing volleyball action for 2-3 weeks as she heals from the surgery.

According to Angge,  she incurred the tear on her shoulder way back when she was still a student-athlete at the University of Santo Tomas. 

“Ang tagal na nito! Sa UST pa,” she said. “Dinadaan lang sa tape at therapy.”

“It’s just that lately, simula nung Power Pinays sa Thailand hanggang pagbalik dito sa V-league, sobrang sakit na,” adds Angge. “Pag pumapalo ako, parang matatanggal na braso ko.”

One tough captain

After their historic 16-0 sweep at the 10th season of Shakey’s V-league, head coach Nes Pamilar and the team’s management decided that it’s time for the captain to get a permanent fix for the injury.

Pamilar relates that the operation could have been done earlier but Tabaquero insisted on finishing their V-league campaign first.

“Tiniis niya yung sakit, tinapos niya yung tournament,” he said. “Kahit masakit, trinabaho niya talaga at di niya kami iniwan.”

“Ngayon, pina-opera na natin kasi long-term na ang tinitignan natin,” Pamilar quips. “After 2 to 3 weeks, mas maganda pang performance makikita natin galing sa kanya.”

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Angge also relates that even before finding out the success rate of Plasma Rich Protein (PRP) treatment, she was already sold on the idea of going under the knife.

“Naba-bother na kasi ako.”

“Hindi naman pwedeng titiisin ko na lang siya,” she added. “I want to give my 100% eh. So maka-miss man ako ng ilang games, pagbalik ko naman, tutulong ako.”

“Pagbalik ko, I believe I can do even better.”

Still a strong team

With the absence of Tabaquero, the Rising Suns will be missing her powerful spikes, libero-like defense and leadership inside the court.

Despite this, Cagayan’s head coach believes that he and his wards can still give the other 5 squads a good fight.

For Pamilar, teamwork is still his team’s biggest weapon.

“Kahit naman nung V-league, madami na akong players na injured.”

“Ang maganda sa mga bata, nagtutulungan sila,” said Pamilar. “Nagse-step-up pag alam nilang kailangan sila ng team.”

“Mas malalakas makaka-laban namin dito dahil lahat may imports,” he adds. “Pero gaya lang ng dati, paghahandaan at paghihirapan natin.”

On her part, Cagayan’s team captain promises to lead the team to victory in her own little ways.

“I’ll be there every game, on the sidelines nga lang,” quipped Angge. “But regardless, andun ako to guide and support them.”

She admits that the competition in the Philippine Super Liga will be a lot stiffer but they will stay focused and train even harder to keep the momentum.

“Oo, mas matindi ang laban ngayon dahil na rin sa magagaling na imports,” said Tabaquero. “But business as usual, we prepare, we give our best and just hope and pray for the best.”

“Puso na lang! Kaya ng Cagayan yan!”

Power Pinays crash out of the semi finals

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NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand, September 15, 2013 – The Philippine national women’s volleyball team had a measly output as they lost their 3rd straight game at the Asian Volleyball Championships against China, 25-9, 25-10, 25-8.
Pitted against a much taller and more experienced squad, the Power Pinays came into the match clearly as the underdogs with a tough task at hand; battle the defending champs of the biennial meet.
According to China’s head coach, Lang Ping, there are lessons that they could take from this match regardless of how easily they won it.
“I think today is different. They are pretty short,” she said. “There are some irregular balls. Drop balls. We don’t have that. We’re learning.”
Darlings of the crowd
The newly formed team from PH went into volleyball oblivion after going off the radar for the past three AVC tournaments.
Despite the loss, the Power Pinays seemed to have captured the attention of the fans not only from home, but from the host country as well.
Ranked 16th, the girls are considered the bottom dogs in each of their matches. And sometimes, that’s all you need to get the audience to cheer for you.
After a dismal first two sets, the Philippine team rallied at the 3rd through their good floor defense to close the gap 6-8, to the delight of the crowd.
“They’re happy when they are playing.” said China’s coach. “Their passing was really good. In time, they will improve.”
Continuous improvement
Showing grit and persistence, the girls made China work hard for every point as they dig and receive the attacks sent their way.
This resulted to rallies that elicited dozens of oohs and aahs from the people in attendance at the Chatchai Hall.
Head coach Nestor Pamilar explains the decision to use ace libero Lizlee Ann Gata-Pantone did wonders for the team.
“Kahapon ko pa plano gamitin si Tatan (Gata) against Iran. Kaso hindi pinayagan maglaro dahil walang picture yung official ID niya.” said Pamilar.
“Kasi ang habol ko, yung mabilis ang galaw. And she proved na siya yun.”
Pamilar compliments the girls’ efforts in saving the ball regardless of their clear disadvantage in exposure and cohesion.
“Nakita naman natin, pag pinapaluan sila, naitataas nila.” he said. “Maliban sa malakas yung kabila, kulang lang talaga sa kumpyansa ang mga bata.”
“We’ll get there. With hard work, we will.”
The captain is missing
The PLDT Fibr-sponsored team missed the services of team captain Angge Tabaquero due to the injury limitations of her sprained ankle.
Team Physician Raul Alcantara advised Tabaquero to rest the injury and just prepare for the matches that they have bigger chances of winning.
“Gusto maglaro eh. Siyempre China. Gusto niya ma-experience.” said Alcantara. “But we didn’t want to risk it. We don’t want it to get worse.”
Pamilar describes Angge as a real fighter.
“She feels bad na di siya makalaro. Gusto tumulong sa team eh.” he said. “Sabi ko na lang, mas makakatulong siya, pag gumaling siya agad.”
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A positive outlook towards the team’s future
Regardless of the low output on their last game, coach Nes Pamilar still thinks his wards would go far.
For him, this is one of the strongest national volleyball teams we have come up with in recent years.
“Si (Rosemarie) Vargas injured. Si Angge injured. Pero binibigyan pa din natin sila ng magandang laban.” he continues. “Mabuo lang natin yang first six na yan, mabigyan ng magandang exposure, malayo mararating niyan!”
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas top-scored for PH with 10 points from 9 attacks and 1 service ace followed by Honey Royse Tubino with 4, all from spikes.
China’s Zhu Ting had a field day with 12 attacks, 4 blocks and 3 service aces amassing 19 points while Hui Ruoqi and Zeng Chunlel provided good back up with 12 and 10, respectively.
“We will be working harder para mapataas pa ang ranking natin.” adds Pamilar.
“Kung nakaka-intindi ka ng volleyball, alam mong may ibubuga itong mga batang ito.”

Bigger role, bigger dream for Angge Tabaquero

ImageDo you still remember that time when you were a kid and you change your mind almost everyday as to what you want to be when you grow up? A Doctor? A Lawyer? An Engineer? A Nurse, maybe? Or the cliche TV/Movie Star?

Do you recall wanting to be all that? Did you have people around you nodding and saying “You can be whatever you want to be?” Good news, I did. Bad news, none of my childhood dream professions came true.

It was a different story, though, for Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team Captain Angeli “Angge” Tabaquero.

The 5’7″ open spiker relates that as far as she can remember, there is nothing she wanted more than to become a volleyball player.

“Tinatanong nila ako nung bata ako kung ano gusto ko maging. Palaging yan ang tanong nila.” said Tabaquero. “Pero isa lang din palagi ang sagot ko: Maging volleyball player ng Pilipinas!”

She mentioned that her love for the sport started when she was in 6th grade and it hasn’t stopped since then.

“Tuloy-tuloy na. Hanggang sa pangarapin kong maglaro sa UST para makasama yung mga idols ko na sina (Mary Jean) Balse and (Venus) Bernal.” she continues. “Pinush ko talaga. Thank God natanggap ako!”

Now, after a very successful collegiate sports career, graduating with 2 UAAP championships tucked under her belt, the ‘Pamewang Queen’ shows no signs of slowing down.

With its newfound fame, Shakey’s V-league and Philippine Super Liga teamed up to make volleyball a year-round event in the country.

And for a passionate athlete like Angge, this kind of attention to the sport has been long overdue.

“Masaya na may konting lungkot. Ang dami na kasing talented players na lumipas.” she quipped. “Pero thankful nonetheless. We are starting to get the exposure that we deserve. The long wait is finally over!”

Now that she has a flourishing career as one of Philippines’ biggest and brightest volleyball stars, it would be safe to assume that all of her dreams have finally come true.Image

But she begs to differ.

“Not yet. Gusto kong makatulong na makilala ulit tayo internationally.” she adds. “Gusto kong ipakita na may ibubuga ang Pilipinas. And this September, we get a chance to do that.”

The ex-Tigress is talking about the upcoming Asian Volleyball Championships wherein she will be flying to Thailand, along with 13 other Filipino volleybelles, to battle it out against the best of the best.

Most of us feel we deserve to rest after seeing our dreams come to life but this feisty lady believes otherwise. For her, this is the perfect time to dream bigger.

“Making it to the pro league is not the ultimate goal. Representing the country internationally and winning should be the best achievement there is for an athlete.” says the team captain confidently to finish the interview.

We can all say that some dreams come true and some don’t. But a story like hers only prove that it is all about wanting it bad enough. Because when you do the things that you love with passion, determination and a sweet, sweet smile like hers, it is inevitable that lady luck will eventually smile back at you.

Making it big in the international volleyball arena may be a long shot for now but having a leader like Angge, who leaps and dreams high like nobody’s business, is the best head start we can all hope for.

All the best, Captain! Fight!

 

Photos courtesy of Joey Villaluz and DJ Bianca Frost

PH ready to battle giants in Asian Volley Championships

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Giants, beware.

Team captain Angeli Tabaquero leads a crack crew of Filipino volleyball players who will be representing the country in the Asian Volleyball Championship starting September 10 in Thailand.

Backed by the Philippine Volleyball Federation and PLDT Fibr, the national crew will be bannered by veteran volleybelles Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Pau Soriano, Angela Benting, Chie Saet and Jheck Dionela.

Also joining the squad headed by team manager Sammy Acaylar and head coach Nes Pamilar are Rose Vargas, Wenneth Eulalio, Joy Benito, Royse Tubino, Danika Gendrauli, Mitch Datuin, Arianne Argarin and Lizlee Ann Gata-Pantone.

Though not included in the roster for the AVC, May Jennifer Macatuno, Venus Bernal, Faye Guevara and Sandra delos Santos will be kept in the pool of the PH team for future tournaments.

Need to start now

It might be puzzling to rabid followers of volleyball why some marquee names in the Shakey’s V-League and the UAAP are not in the list. There are only two reasons to that: it is either they weren’t allowed by their schools/clubs to represent the Philippines or they declined due to personal reasons.

“Kulang na lang magmakaawa tayo sa players and coaches,” said Dr. Ian Laurel. “Pero wala tayong magagawa kung ayaw talaga.”

Laurel stressed, though, that instead of giving up, he looked for players who can do well and possesses the heart to play for the country.

“It will be tough,” he said. “But we have to start somewhere. We have to show local players that this lineup will be intact even after the AVC so they will be more inclined to joining us next time.”

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He noted the case of the previous V-League selection, one that placed 3rd in a 4-team tournament in Quang Tri, Vietnam and was immediately disbanded when they returned to the Philippines.

“This time, it will be different,” Laurel added. “Tiwala lang and dasal na sana magtuloy-tuloy na ito.”

Everything for the country

The PH team will be up against India (September 13), Iran (September 14) and reigning champion China (September 15) in the first round of the competition. And for a young team, it will be a daunting task to be pitted against teams that have rich winning traditions.

The Filipinos, though, believe they are ready to put up a good fight.

“There are a lot of things at risk. Una, siyempre buong buo ang suporta ng PLDT sa atin. Ayaw naman nating mapahiya sa kanila. Pangalawa, gusto nating makilala ulit sa international leagues. Para mangyari yun, kailangan natin muling manalo. And we have to start now.” said Pamilar.

Pamilar assured everyone that the team is really in it to win it. “Our goal is to get the experience and learn from our Asian neighbors. Nagsisimula pa lang tayo pero it doesn’t mean na we won’t fight. Lalaban tayo. Ipapanalo natin lahat hangga’t kaya. Lahat para sa bansa.”

 

Photos courtesy of Rappler.