It’s safe to say that 2015 was not the best of years for Aiza Maizo-Pontillas. The University of Santo Tomas legend still remembers all the fuss and criticism she had gone through after not making the SEA Games team.
In 2017, however, Pontillas made the 25-woman pool for the National Team without a hitch or whisper of controversy. For that, the former UAAP MVP is incredibly thankful.
“Oo nga, mabuti na lang medyo mas tahimik ngayon,” Pontillas said about the selection process.
For now, the lefty opposite hitter is thinking about how she can balance her commitment with Petron and the National Team practices.
“Nangangamba dahil doon sa commitment na tinatawag nila kasi, siyempre, may club team kami, may priority kami ngayon kaya hindi ko pa alam kung ano ang magiging usapan ng club ko sa National Team,” Pontillas said.
Now at 29 years old, Pontillas is also fretting over the competition she has for spots in the opposite position. In past seasons, younger utility hitters have been making a name for themselves. Fellow lefty Jovelyn Gonzaga and De La Salle University’s Kim Dy both made the pool, and will be Maizo’s competition for a spot on the 12-woman roster.
“Siguro hindi ko pa masasabing thank you kasi siyempre may final 14 or 12 pa, kaya hindi pa natin sure na mapapasok sa pang-SEA Games na laro eh.
“Malalakas rin ang mga kapuwestuhan ko at saka mga bata pa kaya hindi pa natin malalaman kung ano ang mangyayari,” the National Team’s elder stateswoman shared.
But the proud mother of a four-year old son is never one to back down.
“Sa ngayon nangangamba pa rin ako, hindi pa rin ako kampante na makakapasok talaga doon sa cut na ‘yun na makakasama pa ako kasi syempre mga bata pa at saka mabibilis na rin sila,” she admitted.
“Siguro lamang ko na lang siguro is pagiging magulang, dahil magulang na ako, gugulangan ko na lang sila,” she said while laughing.
Turning serious, Maizo recalled the first time she had represented the country in 2007 with her UST teammates and head coach August Sta. Maria. 10 years later, the Iloilo native is still raring to play for the Philippines.
“Siyempre, mabibilis sila sa depensahan ‘di ba? Kaya sana bumilis na lang din ako (laughs).
“Doon na lang ako babawi sa pagiging magulang ko at saka sa experience ko sa mga nalaro kong international,” the National Team senior declared.