MANILA, Philippines — Philippine women’s volleyball team libero Kath Arado was heartbroken after her sudden withdrawal from the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia due to a left knee injury.
Arado, the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference Best Libero, revealed that she played through a swollen knee during PLDT’s semifinal series against Petro Gazz.
Arado, who sustained the injury after diving on the LED board to save the ball in Game 2, said her MRI showed that she needed to recover and strengthen, leading to her withdrawal from the national team.
“Kakalabas lang din po kasi ng MRI ko and sabi din ng doctor ko need ko ng pahinga tsaka strengthening. Kailangan daw agapan agad kasi pag nag worst baka daw turukan tuhod ko. Sobrang na takot ako kaya nag decide ang management na ipahinga ko muna at magpagaling for long term din,” the PLDT star told Inquirer Sports.
(My MRI just came out and the doctor said that I need to rest and strengthen my knee. It could worsen so I have to prevent [aggravating]. I am afraid so the management and I decided to recover first for my long-term [career].)
Withdrawing from the Games was a tough decision to make for Arado, who was supposed to play her third straight SEA Games.
“I’m so sad. I cried when I decided to beg off from the national team. But I realized that I don’t want to put the opportunity and trust of the team to waste by playing not in 100 percent condition,” said Arado in Filipino. “It would be unfair for others who are serving of my spot and can perform 100 percent.”
Arado keeps her faith in holdover Kyla Atienza and her replacement Bang Pineda, whom she believes will help the team in the biennial meet.
“Without a doubt, Ate Bang and Ate Kyla will perform. They are both talented and I know that they will do everything to help the team win. It was evident in the games that they are both solid,” she said.
The national team, led by captain Alyssa Valdez, will fly to Japan on Thursday for a 15-day training camp in Himeji.
The University of the East standout wishes all the best for the national team, which is raring to end an 18-year medal drought.
“Aside from wins, I wish an injury-free campaign for the players so they can perform 100 percent in training and games,” Arado said.
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