A legend has come out of retirement to grace the Philippines' first-ever professional volleyball league.
Revered as the golden standard of Filipina setters, Tina Salak is raring to compete with the game's current stars, as she will suit up for Chery Tiggo in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, which starts on Saturday (17 July) at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra.
The 44-year-old Cavite native is set to show the way for fellow Crossovers setters such as Jasmine Nabor and Gyzelle Sy.
According to head coach Aaron Velez, Salak - who had originally decided to hang up her sneakers in 2018 to start a career in coaching - will have a dual role in his team.
"It’s going to be a challenging role for Tina, because she’ll coach and play at the same time," Velez said. "Her experience is a given, but to witness her talent and leadership is exceptional and inspiring."
Salak, a product of the Far Eastern University, is a proven winner. She steered the Philippine Army team to two championships in the Shakey's V League, before capturing three titles in the Philippine Superliga with the Lady Troopers.
The seasoned playmaker will have to face up to the challenges of her age and rustiness, though, as the last time she took part in an official volleyball match was three years ago, when she suited up for the Kungfu Reyes-mentored Cocolife in the 2018 PSL Grand Prix.
Nevertheless, the presence of a battle-tested player in Salak is a welcome addition to the Crossovers, who will compete without the injury-stricken Janine Navarro as well as sisters EJ and Eya Laure.
Chery Tiggo opens its campaign against PLDT on Saturday.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.
You may also be interested with: