NU setter Joyme Cagande ‘mentally, physically’ ready as she moves on to pros – rezal404

NU Lady Bulldogs' setter Joyme Cagande.  -UAAP PHOTO

NU Lady Bulldogs’ setter Joyme Cagande. -UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — National University setter Joyme Cagande is ready for the next chapter of her career as she turns professional in the Premier Volleyball League.

After ending her collegiate career with National University’s final loss to La Salle in the UAAP Season 85, Cagande is bracing for the next step but didn’t reveal where is she headed next.

“I’m mentally and physically prepared for the next chapter. Bahala na si Lord kung saan,” said Cagande after their five-set loss in Game 2 last Sunday.

Cagande, a promising playmaker out of Nazareth School, suffered a knee injury right in her collegiate debut in Season 81 last 2019.

It took some time for her to come back as she wasn’t part of the line-up in 2020, which was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic after NU won its first two games.

But the right time came when she returned last year and played as a backup to starting setter Lams Lamina when the Lady Bulldogs swept all their 16 matches to end a 65-year championship drought.

NU Lady Bulldogs after losing their finals repeat bid.  -UAAP PHOTO

NU Lady Bulldogs after losing their finals repeat bid. -UAAP PHOTO

However, her final season together with batchmates Princess Robles and Jennifer Nierva failed to complete a golden repeat as La Salle exacted a sweet revenge.

Cagande admitted the improvement of the competition right after they swept the tournament but she knows the heartbreak will just make the holdovers, led by Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon, and Lams Lamina, stronger for Season 86.

“This season, I can say that volleyball, in general, has improved coming from last year. Although we lost this season, it’s either we win or we learn,” the graduating playmaker said in Filipino. “Next year they will work harder and we’ll be on the sidelines.”

“We may not win the title this season but I know deep in my heart that they will come back stronger next season,” she added.

Although she was only able to play two full seasons, Cagande is bringing the relationship they built from high school to college as she moves forward to the pros and she hopes that she was able to leave a legacy on her team, too.

“We’ve been playing for how many years and earned a lot of achievements from high school to college. I think the legacy of us (seniors) will leave is the value of relationships and character as champions,” Cagande said. “Because we were able to lead NU to a championship after 65 years. And this is just the beginning for us, for them. After this, we will watch them and support them all the way.”

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