'Servant leader' Jerrili Malabanan ready for her first year as captain for FEU

MANILA, Philippines—Replacing a team icon is never easy but Jerrili Malabanan is ready to put on the captain’s shirt for Far Eastern University.

Malabanan will be on her first captaincy duty for the Lady Tamaraws in the upcoming UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament, replacing is the iconic Bernadeth Pons.

Considered as one of the best outside hitters during her collegiate days, Pons was the skipper who led the Lady Tamaraws to the silver medal in the Season 80 tournament and that was FEU’s best finish since winning the title in Season 70.FEATURED STORIES
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“Of course there’s the pressure because Pons is Pons but I’ve played with her for four years so I learned a lot from her and she’s really a vocal leader on the court,” said Malabanan during their practice Wednesday at FEU.

Jerrili Malabanan on her new role as captain of the FEU Lady Tamaraws.

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Malabanan admitted that she would have a different leadership style from Pons’ vocal way and she’d rather be an example through her play and hard work.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a vocal leader, I would say I’m a servant leader so I will lead by example because I think action speaks louder than words,” said the fourth year opposite hitter.

“A lot of people close to me will always say I’m not really that vocal so I’m just doing my best by leading by example and I’m also pushing myself into becoming more of a vocal leader.”

Malabanan added that she’s had help from her teammates like Heather Guino-o, Kyle Negrito, and Celine Domingo in keeping the team in line.

And if handling a team on her first stint as captain wasn’t tough enough, Malabanan said she’s also feeling pressure in leading the team to another great season.

Malabanan said there’s some burden on the team since FEU finished as the runner-up to champion La Salle and they don’t want to have a lower finish than that come Season 81.

“There’s a little pressure from that because we don’t want to go down from what we did last year but the coaches have been telling us to not focus on the goal of going to the finals and we just have to focus on our first game,” said Malabanan. “We just have to go step-by-step so we don’t get overwhelmed.”

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