May Luna Leads Nxled to Emotional Victory Shortly After Her Mother’s Passing
MANILA, Philippines — A grieving May Luna led Nxled to victory past Akari, 22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-16, in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Luna decided to play despite losing her mother over the weekend and poured in a team-high 14 points including the game-clinching hit, which ended the Chameleons’ five-game losing skid.
Luna cried after winning the game for Nxled as her emotional teammates, who were wearing white ribbons for her mom, rushed their way to Luna and consoled her.
“It’s kind of a difficult decision to use May Luna inside the court because she has kept on crying every day after her mom died. It’s really sad for us, she wasn’t able to join the practice,’ said Nxled coach Taka Minowa. “That’s why we were confused about using her [or not]. But she practiced last time and was very good, so we used her. Her performance was very good.”
Setter Kamille Cal, who dished out 28 excellent sets that led to four double-digit scorers and scored eight points off three attacks, three blocks, and two aces, offered their win to the former La Salle Lady Spiker.
“It was very fulfilling. Other than wanting to win against our sister team, we had another motivation. And it was more of a spiritual and emotional type of motivation because it was special,” said Cal. “Instead of going home, she decided to stay and play for this game [versus Akari]. We were so emotional after the win earlier, it’s because of her.”
Luna will fly to Davao on Tuesday night.
Jho Maraguinot chipped in 13 points, 11 digs, and nine excellent receptions to haunt her former team, Akari. Former Charger Lycha Ebon also shone for Nxled with 12 points and 13 digs, while Cams Victoria had 11 points including the finishing touches in the third set to take a 2-1 lead.
Nxled improved to a 2-5 record and stayed in semifinal contention. It was the Chameleons’ first win since beating Gerflor on opening day last month.
Akari, on the other hand, dropped to a 3-4 record with its third straight loss.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat carried the Chargers with 18 points off 15 spikes and three blocks, while Faith Nisperos had 11 points, 13 digs, and 13 excellent receptions.