Phillips confirmed the news herself during the announcement of the Philippine senior women’s national team training pool last March 8 at the Joy-Nostalg Suites Ballroom in Pasig City.
“It’s good. I should be ready to play by March 12,” the Juniata College alumna shared. While already cleared to play, Phillips is honest that she is not yet in peak condition. “I’m hitting like an 80 percent right now. I won’t be at my 100 playing yet but I will give everything that I got. It’s been a long journey,” she added.
Regardless of her physical status, the opposite hitter is just excited to finally see action. “Being on the sidelines is like the hardest thing for me. I kinda have to calm it down when I’m on the court because my pent-up energy has been there for so long.”
She last played competitive volleyball during the 2018 PSL Invitational Cup wherein she averaged 17.2 points per game. But injuries to her shoulder and Achilles heel hampered her stint. Soon after, the Lady Realtors bowed out in the quarterfinals against eventual champion F2 Logistics Cargo Movers. Her condition prevented her from playing for the Philippines in last year’s Asian Games and AVC Cup for Women.
MJ Phillips helping to rebuild the land
She returns to a Lady Realtors squad that is ranked sixth in the 2019 PSL Grand Prix with a 2-5 record. However, the Filipino-American is convinced that they can turn things around in the second preliminary round. “We just have to believe in ourselves that we can do this. We just need to start rolling. Our coaches are great, our teammates are great, we just need to be a little more cohesive, the communication needs to be on the same page a little bit better. We’re there and we know it. Round two should be interesting.”
The Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors will face Erica Wilson, Anastasiya Artemeva, Mylene Paat, Rachel Anne Daquis, and the rest of the HD Spikers at 7 pm. Meanwhile, the Generika Ayala Lifesavers will take on the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters at 2 pm. Petron will try to maintain its immaculate record when they face the Foton Tornadoes at 4:15 pm. All games will be played at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
(Statistics from VBall DB)