“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.
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.
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.”
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!