CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY— Erika Raagas’ homecoming game turned into a family reunion as over 80 of her relatives were among the ecstatic 9,000 fans in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) on Tour match here.
Inspired by being surrounded by family, Raagas helped Akari snap a three-game skid with a 25-18, 25-15, 25-19 victory over the also-ran Gerflor and stay in the semifinal hunt in the second All-Filipino Conference.
Raagas later received a Plaque of Recognition from the city.
“It was super humbling to see the people I grew up with, the people who supported me from the very beginning. So it’s very heartwarming to come back here and then to show them the person that I’ve become. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them so taos puso akong nagpapasalamat sa mga tao dito,” said Raagas.
The Cagayanon spiker delivered five points in the game where her grandparents were in attendance.
“I knew that this would be one of the chances that some of my family members could finally watch me play since I moved to Manila especially my grandparents because they’ve always supported me from the very beginning. So super super happy to be here,” Raagas said.
The former Ateneo spiker was also happy that her teammates enjoyed their experience in the City of Golden Friendship, which warmly welcomed them since they arrived on Friday.
Erika Raagas on playing in her home town, Cagayan De Oro. #PVL2023 #PVLOnTour
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Saturday, November 18, 2023
“I said this place is known as the City of Golden Friendship and they will welcome you with the warmest hospitality there is. They agreed that it’s electric here in CDO. We really felt their energy,” Raagas said.
As she flies back to Manila with a full heart, Raagas vows to continue helping the 4-4 Akari which needs to win its remaining three games for a chance to enter the PVL semifinals for the first time.
“We’re gonna take this one game at a time because every single game is just as important as the last and instead of looking back and regretting our previous [losses], we’re gonna look forward and see that we still have a fighting chance. Look straight, focus on ourselves, and see where we went wrong in the past and work on it even more,” she said.