Paneng Mercado’s transfer to Cignal from F2 Logistics was one of the biggest moves of the PSL break, as the outside hitter has been one of the most constant faces in coach Ramil de Jesus’s teams since their La Salle days.
Mercado last played for the Cargo Movers during the squad’s run to the All-Filipino championship, but decided to change jerseys mainly for convenience.
“Main reason talaga is yung conflict of schedule,” she told FOX Sports. “Kasi nangyari siya last conference lang din, in the middle of the conference, nag-decide yung coaching staff na i-move yung schedule in the morning kasi majority of them are available in the morning.”
“Ako lang yung (may) conflict, kumbaga. Parang outnumbered ako in the sense na, nag-give way nalang ako sa kanila na yun yung mas preferred schedule nila. With all honesty, swerte na na maka-dalawa or maka-tatlong training ako per week. Nung latter part na, ang training ko nalang is pa-pawis in the morning before the game,” she added.
Because of the change, Mercado was left out of F2’s rotation and saw her playing time dwindle as the tournament went on.
This, she attributes to not being able to train properly and adequately because of the schedule.
“Wala talaga akong maayos na training tapos mas madami pa akong training sa gym kesa sa court,” she explained. “Kasi I work from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Hindi naman ako pwedeng mag-absent ng mag-absent dun for training.”
Despite bidding De Jesus and the Cargo Movers goodbye, Mercado insists she has no hard feelings for the coaches and that her move to the HD Spikers will be best for both sides.
“Naiintindihan ko naman yung priority nila. Nagkataon lang na ako lang yung may 8:00am-5:00pm work sa team,” she shared. “Yun lang talaga, training schedule lang. Wala ng iba.”
Now that she has attended some of Cignal’s practice sessions in preparation for the Grand Prix, the daughter of track legend Lydia de Vega said she’s happy with how the HD Spikers have welcomed her.
“Okay lang din kasi most of them, naging ka-team ko na rin before. Sa loob lang kayo ng court magkaka-away pag magkatapat kayo sa game,” she said. “Pero pag nagsama-sama na kayo, walang personalan. Masaya naman, magaan sa loob. Hindi naman ako nahirapang mag-adjust kasi sobrang accommodating sila.” — By Joyce Palad