Daquis fighting for her dream

The game was testy and Rachel Anne Daquis and the RC Cola-Army Lady Troopers were having a tough time silencing this young and aggressive Generika squad.

It was the Lady Troopers debut in the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix.

Rust were starting to surface especially on Daquis who missed the crucial stretch of the previous PSL All-Filipino Conference after crashing with an injury. Finally, Daquis soared to block an attack by Ria Meneses, a young and promising middle spiker from University of Santo Tomas.

As Daquis was on her way down, something strange, something uncommon was lingering on her landing spot. Things got a little awkward as what was supposed to be an ocean to fall on turned into a narrow and rocky river to crash into.

It was her new teammate – Lutgarda Malaluan. She completely occupied Daquis’ landing spot with her left foot ready to occupy the same spot where Daquis’ right foot would fall.

Without a choice, Daquis crashed into Malaluan’s foot. There she was, helplessly falling like a beautiful angel, lying on the floor while clutching her sprained ankle. She got up with the help of her teammates, winced in pain as she walks to the locker room, through a dark dungeon where a lot of questions and uncertainties would hound her.

Never mind if she fails to match the youthful firepower of this Generika squad. Never mind if she doesn’t finish the match.

The important thing is this: She has to remain healthy because in less than a week, her life-long dream would finally be realized – a chance to compete against the world’s best players in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.

And with this swollen left ankle, her bid to lead PSL-F2 Logistics Manila was pushed into the brink of disaster. Her body failed her before; but this time, Daquis is determined: No amount of injury can stand in the way between her and her life-long dream. She would fight for it no matter what it takes – even if it requires another miracle.

Squandered opportunity

Succumbing to an injury is nothing new to Daquis. Three months ago, with RC Cola-Army looking to conquer the PSL All-Filipino Conference crown, Daquis crashed with a foot injury in the second round of the eliminations against mighty Foton.

She was assessed with a partial plantar aponeurotic tear on her left heal and required weeks of therapy with noted sports rehabilitation expert Dr. Isagani Leal of the Center for Musculoskeletal Science-Asia in Quezon City.

Leal is no ordinary surgeon. His roster of patients was star-studded ranging from Jason Castro of Talk ‘N Text, Jeric Teng of Rain or Shine, Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga, the Meralco Bolts and Philippine Azkals.

Daquis underwent PRP Therapy – or Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy wherein the damaged or injured portion of the muscle would be cured by injecting his own blood to expedite tissue grown and cell regeneration.

It is a wonder of medicine that became popular in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and treated world-class athletes like Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal. It’s like discovering the fountain of youth. And Daquis was no exception. In just few weeks of treatment, Daquis was able to walk again.

Then, she regained her competitive form. Unfortunately, it costs her the All-Filipino title and a golden chance to represent Foton Pilipinas in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship. But it’s okay, Daquis said.

The real war has yet to happen. And it will be waged against the world’s best players starting this Tuesday (Oct. 18) at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Small miracle

But with Daquis facing yet another injury, all she needed was a miracle to fight for her dream. Right after sustaining the injury, Daquis put her foot in a tub full of ice to somehow subside the swelling. Then, she closed her eyes and uttered a little prayer – a wish that somehow the stinging pain would die down to allow her to compete in the FIVB CWC.

The following morning, she visited Dr. Leal and his partner, Dr. Eric Yraola, to seek treatment. There, a small miracle happened.

[quote]They told me that this is just a mild sprain and I can compete at the same level I used to. I can now start training Friday and be in good condition by the time the tournament starts on Tuesday.

I couldn’t believe it. My prayer was granted. God works in a very mysterious way.[/quote]

Daquis, the team captain and leader of PSL-F2 Logistics Manila that will battle teams from Turkey, Switzerland, Brazil, Italy, Japan and Thailand, said she couldn’t let this golden opportunity slip through her hands. She’s been to all kinds of war before, but this battle is something she’s been dreaming of.

[quote]This is my dream. And with God’s help, I will work hard and do everything to fulfil it.[/quote]

Daquis’ stunning recovery isn’t because of a miracle or the wonder of medicine. It’s because of her faith, persistence and love for the sport. She’s been very loyal to the sport and a ticket to the world stage is her rightful reward.