Volleyverse caught up with Petron star Rachel Anne Daquis ahead of Game 3 of the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Finals against Foton to discuss her expectations for the blockbuster clash, her sprained ankle and her plans for the off-season.
Volleyverse: It’s obviously a huge match on Saturday, how has the preparation been so far this week?
Daquis: Preparation has been great so far. We still train every single day. With that, I can say that we are physically prepared for the upcoming match. Outside of training, I’ve been trying to get mentally ‘up’ for the match.
Volleyverse: You’ve obviously been in this position before as a team, how would you describe the mood within the team this week?
Daquis: Relaxed and calm but still training hard.
Volleyverse: What would it mean for you personally to win the grand slam?
Daquis: Obviously, I would love to win a Grand Slam. However, it doesn’t feel any different from other championship matches I’ve played. That is a good thing because I don’t feel any pressure. I will still be out there giving it my best shot. I am that kind of athlete that desires to continue to play well and to continue to win matches. I don’t get satisfied – Grand Slam or not, I will keep moving forward.”
Volleyverse: What actually happened to your ankle before Game 2 and how is it feeling now?
Daquis: I sprained my ankle at training a day before Game 2. It’s feeling a lot better now.
Volleyverse: How did you manage to get through the match and were you worried when you first hurt it that you might not be able to play any further part in the finals?
Daquis: At first I was worried that it will get worse but I guess nothing beats unparalleled determination.
Volleyverse: Are you in any doubt for Game 3 and have you had to sit out any training sessions this week?
Daquis: Doubt kills more dreams than failure will. We’ll show up well-prepared and that leaves no room for doubt.
Volleyverse: What did the team do better in Game 2 as compared to Game 1 and what do you see as the key areas that will decide Game 3?
Daquis: Talent might win games, but it takes teamwork to win championships. We may not have any control over the level of our talent, but we have total control over our character and how we interact with each other. As long as each one of us in the team give our all, our very best. We should play to win, that’s the key.
Daquis: Foton is a strong team and their key players are among the strongest in the league. But I strongly believe that my team will earn the right to win the game with focus, motivation, physical and mental toughness and togetherness.
Volleyverse: What are your plans for next season? Have you signed a new deal with Petron for 2016?
Daquis: There are no concrete plans as of yet.
Volleyverse: Other than hopefully celebrating winning another title, what are your plans for the off-season? Do you have any holidays organised or anything fun? Or will you get straight back into training?
Daquis: My mom and sister, who live in Germany, are coming home for the holidays. I am planning to spend some time with them while they’re here and then will jump back into training.”
Volleyverse: Regardless of what happens on Saturday, how would you describe your 2015 season? Is there one memory or match that stands out?
Daquis: Challenging would be a really good way to describe it, actually. Sometimes it’s me who’s not playing well. Sometimes it’s dealing with minor injuries. However it ends this season, I am content. I chose this team for a reason. I want to win and I feel like this team gives me a real good opportunity.