PSA crown caps Mika’s magical year

Monday, 30 Jan 2017
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

The year 2016 has been magical for Mika Reyes.

The Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) formally named Reyes as its Ms. Volleyball following a smashing success that started with winning the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) crown to campaigning in the prestigious FIVB Women’s Club Championship.

The PSA, the oldest media organization in the country, will honor her in its annual Awards Night presented by Milo and San Miguel on February 13 at the Le Pavilion in Pasay City.

She will be the fifth recipient of such prestigious award, which was won thrice by Valdez in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The UAAP crown, which came at the expense of rival Valdez and Ateneo de Manila, was the third for the 22-year old Reyes after winning back-to-back in 2012 and 2013.

Aside from that she towed the Lady Spikers to five consecutive UAAP finals appearance. But the smell of the champagne has yet to die down when Reyes earned another milestone outside the court – a degree in AB Psychology from La Salle.

After that, she led F2 Logistics to the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference crown where the Cargo Movers overcame tremendous odds to smother Jaja Santiago and powerhouse Foton squad in a dramatic best-of-three finals showdown.

Biggest break

She was also tapped as ambassador of the PSL in 2016, joining the elite cast of Richard Gomez and Gretchen Ho as well as former teammate Cha Cruz. But her biggest break came later in the year.

The PSL named Reyes as one of the only seven Filipina players to compete in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena last October.

Together with superstars Rachel Anne Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Jen Reyes, Kim Fajardo, Frances Molina, Jaja Santiago and seven other foreign players, Reyes battled world’s best club teams like Pomi Casalmaggiore of Italy, Bangkok Glass of Thailand, Hisamitsu Springs of Japan and Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul of Turkey in a magical week of world-class action.

PSL Manila came home empty-handed, but the experience Reyes and other local stars gained in such a competitive tournament was priceless.
Reyes rejoined F2 Logistics shortly after the world championships.

Unfortunately, the Cargo Movers, with Hayley Spelman and Sydney Kemper as imports, surrendered to Petron in the semifinals of the PSL Grand Prix before settling for the bronze medal after an impressive performance over RC Cola-Army.

That proved to be the final stand of Reyes in gold and black jersey as she joined powerhouse Petron the following month via a lucrative two-year deal.

True enough, the year 2016 was her year. And until now, everything still feels like magic.