Wednesday , May 22 2024

Bea De Leon realizes dream to share Araneta floor with Gumabao

Creamline Cool Smashers' Bea de Leon and Michele Gumabao in a PVL All-Filipino Conference game at Smart Araneta Coliseum

Creamline Cool Smashers’ Bea de Leon and Michele Gumabao in a PVL All-Filipino Conference game at Smart Araneta Coliseum. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Bea De Leon fulfilled a longtime dream on Thursday, sharing the floor with idol Michele Gumabao in front of 17,396 fans at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

De Leon starred with nine points to help Creamline beat her former team Choco Mucho, 25-17, 25-22, 25-19, in a crucial elimination round match in the PVL All-Filipino Conference.

Eleven years ago, a young De Leon, wearing a La Salle shirt, manifested on X (formerly Twitter) that she would one day play alongside Gumabao in front of a jampacked crowd.

READ: Bea de Leon getting the hang of Creamline system

Gumabao was then the star of La Salle in the UAAP. De Leon had been close to joining the Lady Spikers but destiny brought her to the Ateneo Blue Eagles where she won three UAAP championships.

It was a special night for De Leon as she also earned her first Player of the Game honor.

“Sobrang blessing. Hindi ko akalain na dadating ako sa point sa career ko na ito na nandito ako from a kid na super scrawny and didn’t even know how to play quick. I didn’t even know the rules. Pero kasama ko na sila ngayon, pareho kaming lumalaban. Dream come true talaga,” De Leon told reporters.

READ: PVL: Denden Revilla, Bea De Leon reunite with Ateneo temmates

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Although it wasn’t her first game with the veteran opposite spiker, it was the first time they played together at the Big Dome after missing the chance to play together on opening day at the same venue.

More than realizing her dream, the star middle blocker was also thrilled to help Creamline win over her former team, where she played for the past four seasons.

“Talagang big game din kinabahan din ako at some point. Talagang nakikita mo rin talaga sa teammates ko and coaches ko na grabe yung guidance and tiwala sa akin na andyan lang talaga sila, literally behind my back, ate [Alyssa] Valdez is always there, whispering wisdom,” said De Leon. “Yung tiwala nila yun yung nagpakalma sa akin na sa tiwala ko sa sarili ko.”

Creamlline Cool Smashers' Bea De Leon (right) and Alyssa Valdez share a high five after a point.

Creamlline Cool Smashers’ Bea De Leon (right) and Alyssa Valdez share a high five after a point. –MARLO CUETO/

De Leon remained focused on their goal to boost its semifinal bid after Creamline tied Choco Mucho on top with identical 8-2 records.

“Sobrang happy namin na nakuha namin ‘to. Sobrang big game niya for us. Talagang sama sama namin ginawa yung trabaho namin lalo na sa ginagalaw ng Choco. We saw naman how their conference has been talagang nagpush din kami,” she said.

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With her idol Gumabao and her new teammates, De Leon said that her “heart is at peace.”

“Sobrang at peace ako kung nasaan ako ngayon. Not a day goes by na hindi ako thankful sa mga kasama ko at sa mga coaches ko na binigyan ako ng isa pang chance. Isa pong karangalan talaga na nandito po kami ngayon,” De Leon said.

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