CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Erika Raagas’ homecoming game turned into a family reunion as more than 80 of her relatives were among the 9,000 delighted fans of the Tour’s Premier Volleyball League (PVL) match.
Inspired by his family surroundings, Raagas helped Akari break a three-game skid with a 25-18, 25-15, 25-19 victory over Gerflor, who was also leading, to stay in the semifinals of the second All-Filipino Conference.
Raagas later received a plaque of recognition from the city.
“It was incredibly humbling to see the people I grew up with, the people who supported me from the very beginning. So I’m very happy to come back here and show them what kind of person I’ve become. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them, so taos puso akong nagpapasalamat sa tao dito,” Raagas said.
Announcer Cagayanon scored five points in a game her grandparents attended.
“I knew this would be one of the chances that some of my family members would finally be able to watch me play since I moved to Manila, especially my grandparents because they always supported me from the beginning. I’m very, very happy to be here,” Raagas said.
The former Ateneo announcer was also pleased that her teammates enjoyed their stay in the City of Golden Friendship, which welcomed them warmly from the moment they arrived on Friday.
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“I said that this place is known as the City of Golden Friendship and they will welcome you with the warmest hospitality possible. They agreed that there is electricity here in CDO. We really felt their energy,” Raagas said.
Returning to Manila with a full heart, Raagas vows to continue helping Akari 4-4, who must win their remaining three matches to have a chance to advance to the PVL semifinals for the first time.
“We will take each match one at a time because every single match is as important as the last one, and instead of looking back and regretting our previous [losses], we will look to the future and see if we still have a fighting chance. “Look straight, focus on yourself, see where we have made mistakes in the past and work on it even more,” she said.