Petro Gazz hitter Grethcel Soltones is experiencing a rebirth under the watch of head coach Oliver Almadro.
Pushed down to a bench role in her first two seasons as an Angel due to injuries and tough competition in the wing spot, a healthier Soltones is now thriving in a bigger role entrusted to her.
The San Sebastian College-Recoletos product is slowly regaining her old dangerous form which is instrumental in Petro Gazz’s good start in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.
Almadro has his full confidence in the former three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player.
“Well, I told Gretch, ‘Gretch let’s bring back the prime Grethcel.’ Then she answered, ‘OK coach, we’ll work on it.’ So, when she says she’ll do it, she’s really going to do it,” Almadro said of the open spiker.
Soltones repaid the trust of the mentor with inspired performance as a starter averaging 11.3 points per game and landing at the No. 10 spot in attacking with 26.50 percent success rate.
“I’m really thankful for his trust considering that he’s a former rival. I just promised him that he won’t regret putting his trust in me in whatever role he wants to play,” Soltones said of the former Choco Mucho mentor, who replaced Rald Ricafort during the off- season.
With Soltones getting an active role on offense, the Angels are currently enjoying a two-game roll.
She pounded 14 points in Petro Gazz’s 28-26, 25-18, 25-13, conquest of Cignal last Saturday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Almadro thinks that Soltones could be around 50 percent of her full potential.
“It’s all up to her. She’s the only one who can say where she stands now. So she just has to keep on working.”
“We’re working on it. We hope that in time, when the right time comes, we can see the return of the peak MVP Grethcel,” he added.
But what pushes Soltones to get back to her old form is her goal to prove that she deserves the trust of Almadro.
“My goal is to prove that I deserve the role given to me by Coach and also to prove my naysayers wrong,” she said.
To get back to her old shape, Soltones admits that she’s practicing more discipline during workouts.
“I would like to share that before I was pushing myself too hard even if I’m already exhausted. That’s what happened to me. My body was already telling me to stop but I kept on doing extra workouts which proved to be a bad idea,” she said.
Now Soltones knows that to unleash the player that she was before she must tame the gym beast first.