Major blow for HD Spikers

Thursday, 21 Dec 2017
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

After crashing out of the semifinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix, Cignal has a pressing matter to resolve – the health status of star spiker Jovelyn Gonzaga.

HD Spikers’ coach George Pascua bared that Gonzaga was assessed with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury following a bad landing in the crucial stretch of the Grand Prix three weeks ago.

Pascua said Gonzaga is already in the process of strengthening her knee in preparation for her operation this January. Once operated, she is expected to recover for the next six to eight weeks, prompting her to miss the Grand Prix that is set to start on Feb. 7.

“The result was released last week and it shows that Jovelyn suffered an ACL.”

 “This is a major blow to us as we prepare for the Grand Prix. We know that Jovelyn plays a crucial role in our rotation and we have to be very creative in filling the void left by her absence.”

Pascua added that he is very optimistic that the Gonzaga can easily get back stronger, better than ever.

“She works so hard,” he said. “But more than that, she’s mentally tough. She’s very positive and remains optimistic that she can get back in shape sooner than expected.”

Shorter recovery

Sources said Gonzaga is now moving very well.

Although there are some swelling and a little bit of pain, she can now stretch and jump very lightly, making her therapists optimistic about her recovery.

“She can skip the operation all together and be back on the court in three to four months’ time, making her available for Cignal in the tail-end of the Grand Prix and in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship in September.”

“But then again, it could be very risky. It might affect her mentally and emotionally knowing that she’s exposed to a much higher risk. Let’s see. It all depends on the decision of her therapists.”

Volleyverse tried, but Gonzaga couldn’t be reached for comment.

Filling the void

Gonzaga isn’t the lone HD Spiker who will be sitting out the Grand Prix.

Pascua added that Mylene Paat – her main backup in the opposite spiker spot — would also take a leave as she joins Adamson University in its quest in the UAAP starting Feb. 4.

Middle blocker Maica Morada will also be out of service as she formally moves to Australia while open hitter Janine Marciano is also doubtful after falling prey to a knee injury in the final stretch of the Grand Prix.

Pascua said the MRI result on Marciano’s knee would be released next week.

With that, the HD Spikers are contemplating on tapping foreign players who play the opposite and open spikers positions.

“We have no solid plan yet, but we are looking at hiring an opposite and an open spiker as imports.”

“Let’s see. Anything is possible. Despite all these injuries, we will make sure to come up with a fighting unit on the floor.”