Former University of Perpetual Help star Jana Sta. Maria opens another chapter of her collegiate career as she suits up for University of the East in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament on Feb. 4.
Sta. Maria’s first foray in college battle was when the Altas, bannered by Honey Royse Tubino, completed a rare grand slam in Season 89 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
She was also part of the young Cignal squad along with Jheck Dionela, Carmela Tunay and Cherry Vivas when it finished seventh in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference last year.
Now, after completing a one-year residency, the soft-spoken spiker from Cavite is ready to prove her worth.
But the question is: Will she be successful?
After a two-year campaign with the Altas, Sta. Maria admitted that she transferred to UE because she wants to work with one of the best mentors in the industry in Lady Warriors’ coach Francis Vicente.
And Vicente is more than just a coach.
After turning the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Kim Fajardo, Dindin Manabat and Jaja Santiago into volleyball’s most important players, Vicente weaved his magic with Philips Gold as he turned the rag-tag team into an instant contender in the PSL.
Unfortunately, the Lady Slammers didn’t realize their dream of winning a PSL crown as they moved to the rival league last year.
Vicente went on to handle Generika and is now on the verge of calling the shots for the women’s national team that will campaign in the AVC Asian Women’s Seniors Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
Sta. Maria said he wants the “Francis miracle” to make a positive impact on her career.
But in reality, there’s no such thing as the “Francis miracle.”
It’s just a mere figment of imagination.
Because at the end of the day, only Sta. Maria can weave her own magic through sheer hard work and determination.