//Highlights
Arah Panique Shines For Alas Pilipinas Against Kazakhstan

Arah Panique Shines For Alas Pilipinas In Loss Against Kazakhstan

Arah Panique proved to be Alas Pilipinas’ silver lining after bowing out of championship contention against Kazakhstan. 

Ahead of the AVC Challenge Cup, 19-year-old Arah Panique was the last-minute addition for Alas Pilipinas, replacing UE super rookie Casiey Dongallo around five days before the regional tilt started last May 22.

Yet when they needed it the most, that very last-minute addition came alive for Alas Pilipinas as they battled Kazakhstan in the AVC Challenge Cup semifinals on Tuesday. Despite the 25-23, 25-21, 25-14 sweep by the Kazakhs, the NU opposite spiker would notch a team-high 14 points for the Nationals. 

Particularly, Panique would lead a furious 12-2 run in the opener, which erased Kazakhstan’s 10-point advantage over Alas. While Alas would fall short, six of Panique’s 14 points came in their late rally to start a dogfight by the opener’s endgame.

But for the young Panique, it was just about repaying the trust given to be Alas’ spark plug, which is a huge confidence boost on its own.

Pinakita ko lang kung ano ‘yung kaya ko, and tiwala sa sarili na sinasabi palagi ng ates, na magtiwala lang palagi sa sarili and sa ibang kasama, especially kay ate Jia (Morado-De Guzman) na nagbibigay talaga siya nang tiwala. And sa coaches din na nagtitiwala din sakin na ipasok ako and always ready lang ‘yung sarili,” she told reporters post-game. 

Of course, her performance didn’t go unnoticed by her seniors in National University. In particular, reigning UAAP MVP Bella Belen would post “Arah, pakita mong hinog ka na!” on X (formerly Twitter) as Panique’s first set explosion took place. 

Simply put, the all-around phenom was telling the young Arah Panique (online) to show what she’s fully capable of against her towering opposition.

Syempre nagpapasalamat ako sa mga ates ko sa NU Lady Bulldogs [kasi] ‘yung mga nagagawa ko dito, dahil din sakanila ‘yon kasi marami din silang advices and mga sinasabi sakin na ganito gawin, ganyan ganyan. Thankful lang talaga ako sa kanila [NU Lady Bulldogs],” said Panique. 

‘You know that she has the potential’ 

Like everyone who watched the game, Alas’ leaders were all praises for young Arah Panique’s performance. 

Head coach Jorge Souza de Brito was least surprised with Panique’s performance. “[If you watch the games] at the UAAP, then you know that she has the potential. And she’s not under pressure anymore to play any kind of competition. She’s really comfortable, [and] it’s good.” 

“She’s young, she takes mistakes, but this happens with all the [girls] that go inside. So I’m really proud of her, she [did] not even show any [hesitation] to do any actions there inside,” adds de Brito. 

Team captain Jia Morado de Guzman, meanwhile, lauded the timing of Panique’s entry against Kazakhstan. For her, the young spiker added “ some fight” in a struggling Alas offense to start the game. 

“And at the same time, she’s just so energetic and so eager to play, na kaming mga nasa loob nadadala rin kami. Ang ganda rin kasi, nakikita rin namin na malalim din ‘yung bench namin and bukas magagamit pa rin namin,” said the veteran setter.  

Up next for Alas Pilipinas is a bronze medal match against Australia. And for Arah Panique and Alas, this loss will now be their main motivator as they gun for a podium finish in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup. 

Banner Image courtesy of the Asian Volleyball Confederation.


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