Former Ateneo De Manila University volleyball player Gretchen Ho led the Light Blue team—composed of Rachel Anne Daquis, Cha Cruz, and Michelle Gumabao—to winning the first-ever My Nestea Beach Fantasy Volleyball Match.
They played against the Dark Blue team of Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Tricia Santos, Amy Ahomiro, and Mela Tunay last May 1 and 2, 2015, at the Boracay Beach Chalets.
This is also the first time Gretchen played with Rachel Anne, former player of the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws; Michelle and Cha, who played for the De La Salle University Lady Archers.
Gretchen told PEP, “Sobrang saya kasi it’s my first time to participate sa Nestea Beach Volleyball Fantasy Match.
“First time to be here for the volleyball event and first time to be team mates with sina Michelle Gumabao, Cha Cruz, and Rachel Daquis.
“Masaya, masaya lang kasi lahat kami nagtulungan sa court.
"We communicated kung ano yung strengths namin, kung ano yung weaknesses namin.
“And then, tawa lang kami ng tawa kunware pag may nagkamali. Pero we were also very competitive so, it was fun.”
Gretchen admitted that it was fun playing with her former rivals in one team.
“Ang sarap nilang kakampi kasi lahat kami palaban. I mean, I’ve known them and I’ve played against them.
“They’re all excellent players and to play with them is a good opportunity to be on the other side naman.
“And yun nga, mahirap kalaban, masarap kakampi.”
The Light Blue team won the first game with scores 21-18, 14-21, and ended it with 15-12.
On the second day, the Light Blue team started rough with 15-21 but bounced back with 21-19 and won the game 2 with 15-9.
According to Gretchen, they all had to adjust because it's different playing beach volleyball and indoor volleyball.
Gretchen explained, “Kasi sa beach volleyball ganun talaga yung laro.
“Minsan breaks of the game, mas mabilis mag-shift yung momentum from one side to the other kesa sa indoor.
“So hindi mo masasabi na kahit porke't lamang ka na, mananalo ka na.
“So kailangan kakapit ka talaga dahil yun sa different factors—init, fatigue, yung hangin, yung sun, and siyempre miscommunication, ganun.
“Many factors so kailangan lagi kang palaban.”
But what is the hardest part of playing beach volleyball?
Gretchen answered, “The hardest part would be the sun, the weather.
“We played at 2 p.m. which was, I think, the peak of the bad sun.
“So yun yung pinakamahirap, talagang… indoor players kasi kami, e.
“So sanay kami sa ganun pero ako I trained for beach volleyball for the past months.
“So medyo sanay na ng konti pero grabe pa rin ang init dito.”
Gretchen admitted that she and her team had a setback on the first set of game 2.
“Siguro kasi siyempre yung iba parang late natulog and then also, parang it was hotter the second day.
“And then, siguro dahil alam naming panalo kami, yun na rin yun.
“Yung second set, nagising kami, ‘Hoy, kailangan nating manalo!’
“Ayaw na naming mag-fourth set kasi ayaw na naming ng decider.
“So we stepped up our game and sabi naming consistency lang.
“And then we played our roles, si Daquis sa depensa, si Michelle sa setting, and kami ni Cha Cruz salitan kami sa harapan.
“So it was more of acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses kaya nag-work kami together, okay kami.”