Falling in love for the first time doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the last.
And most of the time, love is sweeter the second time around.
Ara Galang, the gem of a wing spiker for F2 Logistics in the Philippine Superliga, can strongly attest to that as she revealed that the love of her life turned its back on her, prompting her to discover a sport that swept her off her feet.
When I was in Grade 5, I really wanted to play basketball. But our school – Faith Academy in Angeles City – had no girls’ basketball team so I decided to try volleyball. Everything started from there.
Angeles University Foundation recruited Galang before landing a spot in the country’s most popular, most powerful volleyball program – De La Salle University – where should blossom into a solid offensive force.
She steered the Lady Spikers to a pair of UAAP women’s volleyball titles before surrendering to rival Ateneo de Manila on her fourth year following a gruesome knee injury. This year, with the team in full strength, the Lady Spikers clinched the crown anew, allowing Galang to walk away with three UAAP titles.
Because if not volleyball, I might be playing a different sport now; maybe badminton, swimming or skateboarding.
All throughout her collegiate career, Galang donned jersey no. 8 in respect to her greatest idol, Kobe Bryant.
It is also a tribute to the sport she once loved – basketball.
Like Kobe, I am also a competitor. I love the way he competes and he makes sure to play his hundred percent. I also play every game as if it is my last, similar to his mantra when he was still playing for the Lakers.
Like when I got injured; I didn’t treat it as a hindrance. Yet, I treat it as a challenge to work harder, to get better.
Galang would change her jersey number from no. 8 to no. 6 when she got drafted by the Cargo Movers as top overall pick.
Team insiders claimed Galang had no choice but to don no. 6 after the no. 8 was taken by veteran Danika Gendrauli long before Galang and the Lady Spikers joined F2 Logistics. Also, since joining the draft was a last-minute decision on her part, she was left without an option but to accept jersey no. 6.
But Galang stressed that there’s a deeper, more sentimental reason behind that jersey number.
I will not reveal it, but there’s a special meaning behind this number.
Galang flashed a megawatt smile.
It was a smile of happiness, a smile of comfort.
It was a smile of being in-love.
True enough, love is really sweeter the second time around.