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Filipino fans melt Lindsey’s heart

Lindsey Vander Weide would love to get another chance to play in the Philippines, having experienced the overwhelming passion, support and warmth of Filipino fans for the sport.

The American who led Petro Gazz in retaining the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference title said that she would return home for the holidays and would make sure she will be available for another stint once the import-laden tournament returns early 2023.

“I would love to come back here,” the 25-year-old power hitter said.

“I’m going home for a little bit first, I’m really excited to see my family. But I would love to come back here, 100 percent. This is by far, the most fun I’ve had in a long time, playing volleyball.”

She added that seeing playing venues fill up with fans was something she would never forget. It was an experience like no other.

“Insane, the Filipino fans are insane. I’ve never experienced something like this in my entire life. It’s crazy,” Vander Weide said.

“I think this is how volleyball fans should be, so I really appreciate them for showing up and supporting us all the time.”

Vander Weide played a major role in helping the Angels extend their reign in the season-ending, import-laden conference they first ruled back in 2019 before the tournament was shelved for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

All her efforts throughout the two-month competition not only resulted in Petro Gazz winning the title via sweep of the best-of-three series over Cignal but also earned Vander Weide the Best Foreign Guest Player award as well as the Finals Most Valuable Player recognition.

“It feels great. I didn’t know how the awards worked, at all. I didn’t know there was a Finals MVP, and I didn’t know it was gonna happen,” she said.

“So when my name was called, I mean it’s a great feeling. The Finals is the most important part of the season, and I’m glad that I was able to help my team win this, so it feels really good.”

The University of Oregon product averaged 26.5 points per game in the championship series including a career-high 34-point outing in Petro Gazz’s straight sets win in Game 1.

Vander Weide is the second Oregon Duck to win a title in the Philippines after Alaina Bergsma carried Petron to the throne of the 2014 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix.

“Purr, I love that, I love my Ducks. I love Alaina Bergsma. I mean, Oregon Ducks, we’ve had great coaching staffs, to be honest. And they have had amazing players go in and out of Oregon,” she said.

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