Angel Canino opens up about her love of volleyball, her friendship with Bella Belen, being a student-athlete, and more.
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Whenever a new UAAP season rolls around, there’s always the excitement of seeing which new sport stars will emerge from the rookies entering the season. And when it came to the recently concluded UAAP Season 85 Women’s Volleyball tournament, that star was undoubtedly De La Salle University’s Angel Canino. The 19-year-old’s debut with the Lady Spikers was unlike most rookie seasons the UAAP is used to seeing. From day one, the young volleyball star proved herself as one to watch out for, and Angel followed through on the hype until the very end of the competition.
Not only did she help lead La Salle to a championship win, but she also made history as the first player from La Salle to be awarded MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season. The future is undoubtedly bright for this young athlete as she landed on the radar of many volleyball fans. Following La Salle’s championship win, we caught up with Angel as she let us in on a few fun tidbits about herself that will give you even more reasons to root for this volleyball ace.
HER PARENTS ARE THE REASON WHY ANGEL LOVES VOLLEYBALL
Volleyball runs in the blood of this Bacolod native as both her parents were also active in the sport. Her family, in fact, is who she sights as the reason why she loves volleyball. “I fell in love with volleyball when I started watching my parents’ volleyball training at our school. I was amazed by the skills that my parents are teaching to their players, then I started to do wallings on my own and tried to copy every skill they do,” shares Angel. This eventually led her to join minor leagues in her home province. The rest, as they say, is history.
SHE DIDN’T EXPECT HER ROOKIE SEASON TO GO AS WELL AS IT DID
Winning games, making headlines, taking home the championship, bagging MVP and Rookie of the Year, she did it all. But even Angel herself didn’t expect that her debut would go as well as it did. “I know that the duration of the UAAP season is long, and of course, there will be times that we’re at the peak of our performance and sometimes at our lowest.” Still, her journey had more highs than lows.
HER FAVORITE SEASON 85 MOMENT WAS DEFEATING NU
With a win-loss ratio of 13:1 and other highlights, Angel had one of the most memorable seasons a rookie can have. But when looking back, she sights one moment in particular that sticks out to her in Season 85, when La Salle defeated NU during Round 1. “[W]e finally saw the pride, killer instincts, focus, and fighting spirit of a Lady Spiker.” She adds, “It was also when we finally won against them after not winning any sets from Season 84.”
THERE’S NO BAD BLOOD WITH BELLA BELEN
On the court, Angel and NU’s Bella Belen were worthy opponents. Given how both were rockstar rookies, fans sometimes pitted the two against each other. But beyond the intensity of the game, the only volleyball athletes to be awarded MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season have no beef. After game two of the championship, they even had a moment where they shared a hug. “I’m happy that I got to share a sentimental moment with Ate Bella,” expresses Angel on what she was feeling during the interaction. “At the same time, I felt her hard work and dedication to fight for her team.”
SHE LIKES TO WATCH TIKTOK AND NETFLIX AFTER A GAME
Watch any match with La Salle this season, and you’ll see how hard Angel goes on the court. Naturally, once the game is done, she wants to spend her time de-stressing and chilling. Her definition of that? “I chill in bed and watch TikTok videos or Netflix.” A whole mood for real.
HER SECRET TO BEING A STUDENT-ATHLETE: PROPER TIME MANAGEMENT
While many may know her for her top-tier volleyball skills, Angel is still a student at the end of the day, which means going to training all while getting those papers in on time. It’s a set-up Angel admits hasn’t been the easiest for her to navigate. “Balancing both is challenging and sometimes can be draining for a person.” However, organizing her day and managing her time wisely have proven to help her attend to her responsibilities as a student-athlete. “[P]roper time management and organizing priorities can help you balance your responsibilities. Like me, I always try to manage my time and prioritize what I have to prioritize for that day.”
Photos from The Lasallian, DLSU Sports, Take Aim, Volleyball PH, and Ang Pahayagang Plaridel
Continue Reading: We Already Have New Court Stars For UAAP Season 85 Women’s Volleyball