While Tina Salak is still good enough to be a national team setter, the RC Cola-Army veteran was not among those who slugged it out for slots in the Philippine squad participating in the Women’s Club World Championships soon.
Salak, however, was at the FilOil Flying V Centre Friday afternoon, doing something as the prospects battled in scrimmages on the court.
“Binigyan kasi ako ng tasking. Yung tasking na yun is maging isa sa training staff ng World. Malaking bagay yun sakin. So mas pinili ko talaga na mag excel dun sa next category na pwede akong tumungtong after playing, which is coaching,” she told FOX Sports. “Mas marami akong matututunan in a sense na hindi lang as a player. After this year naman alam naman nating magreretire na ko e. So dun palang parang inaadvance ko na yung stepping stone dun sa position na yun.”
The former FEU standout has been representing the Philippines in international competitions for more than 20 years, starting off with a silver medal in the 1995 SEA Games and being part of the last team to land a podium finish in the biennial meet 10 years after.
And while her skills have not rusted off yet, the 39-year-old Salak is excited to move to the next level.
Describing the performance of the 27 players who attended, she said: “Yung talents naman andun e. Thankful kami kasi nga lahat nag participate. Yung willingness nila to be here is an honor na, na talagang gustong-gusto talaga nila ma-achieve yung dream nila. Kasi yung World (Club Championships), di naman biro yan e. World na nga yan e.”
“Yung pagpunta palang nila dito, para na kaming nanalo din. For us, sa coaching staff, pati narin sa players, yung mga bagay na ganun, talagang pinagpapahalagahan. Kung yung mga talents naman e andyan lang, i-eenhance nalang natin sila,” she added.
Now that she’s going to be part of the training staff of the club team that will represent the country, Salak outlined what she is looking for in prospective players.
“Unang-una isa yung attitude,” she explained. “Kung yung attitude nila na prepared sila na pumunta dito para makuha yung position na yun, nandun e. Nakita ko. Yung perseverance nila na hindi pupwedeng porket tryout to, pepetiks petiks nalang. Nakita ko yun dun sa players na pinili ko. Talagang pursigido silang mapunta at deserve nila at na-earn nila yung spot sa 7.”
“Talent-wise, skills, andun yun. Pero importante sakin yung attitude talaga. Kung wala nun, hindi ko mabebase kung pano sila lumaro. Kasi dun mo naman talaga makikita yung the way they play. Kung ano talaga yung iniisip nila e, kung ano yung pinaghahandaan.” — By Joyce Palad