A brave soul.
A strong heart.
A valiant spirit.
A fearless young lady who chose to spread her wings beyond the boundaries of the City of Smiles, beyond the green outlines of University of St. La Salle. Green to blue, thousands of miles from her comfort zone, she stood up and learned how to fly.
She was once a nobody. Was once just a typical volleyball player who is merely playing the sport she loves. She was once hiding beneath the shadow of her older sister. But now, she is somebody. Somebody who isn’t just a volleyball player, but an inspiration. She isn’t known to be Bea Tan’s younger sister anymore. Because she is Gizelle Tan, an Ateneo Lady Eagle who is making a name for herself.
UAAP Season 75 when we caught a glimpse of that petite beautiful lady who we had no idea about, except being the sibling of the fabulous Bea Tan. Seasons passed in a glimpse. And because time runs faster before our senses can even tell, now it’s Baby G’s last year donning the jersey tinted blue and white. All UAAP athletes went and will go through this- saying goodbye to something which turned them into completely different individuals, something which altered their perceptions and sentiments towards life, and something who twisted their whole existence upside-down for the last five years. And this time, it is G’s turn for bonvoyage.
Ma. Gizelle Jessica Tan. Sometimes a setter, sometimes a libero, an all-time lady eagle who embodies everything that it takes to be one. A simple and humble volleyball player who is always ready to take on whatever challenge the sport may give her. It takes so much courage and determination to be a setter, converted into a libero.
But Gizelle, being a valiant one that she is, accepted the call, and is definitely slaying it all. She is part of the Ateneo champion team way back Season 76-77, also eyeing for the school’s third UAAP volleyball crown this Season 79. One of the highlights of Tan’s collegiate career was when she bagged the Best Setter and Best Libero awards consecutively in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference.
Last Season 78 was when she played as Ateneo’s libero, filling in the shoes of the legendary Iron Eagle. It is a hard task, especially because it is the Dennise Lazaro she will be replacing. Nevertheless, Gizelle’s brave soul outstripped all doubts and fears as she fearlessly stood up and took a huge step towards digging and receiving, and diving and saving. Although, it wasn’t an easy take for the Bacolod native. She went through difficult mazes, even harder than running into live balls. Doubtful people began to distrust what she can do. Fake fans even dubbed her as a weak libero. However, Gizelle, being a lady eagle, performed what heartstrong really means and remained tough amidst the hitting hitches. Through working hard, under the brilliance of Coach Tai, and with the help of her teammates, she showed everyone that nothing can stop a Gizelle Tan. The Ateneo’s Baby G improved inch by inch and she is one of the explosive bombs released by the deadly eagles this season 79. Though she may not be a top contender for the libero awards this season, she’s definitely one of the biggest factors why the Ateneo Lady Eagles has been dominating UAAP volleyball.
Last December 2016 was her last Thailand stint. Last January was her first and last Japan trip. It was her last Cheer Rally last year, too. Last February 4, she took flight as a fifth year lady eagle in her last playing year. She played her last elimination rounds, last rivalry matches, last final four games. And now, she’s down to only 3 maximum games in her last finals appearance.
Thank you for the five great years, G.
Thank you for the breathtaking dives, aweing planks, excellent sets, superb digs, and admirable receptions you shared with us.
Thank you for reminding us that nothing beats a brave soul and a strong heart.
Thank you for playing the sport not just for the name written at the back of your jersey, but for the name in front. ATENEO.
Thank you for inspiring us and for brightening our days, because of your angelic face and dazzling smiles.
Thank you for fighting, G. Thank you for not giving up.
Thank you and we will never forget those five years. We will never forget that once upon a time, there was a fabulous and brave lady who fought until the last blood, wearing the precious Ateneo jersey number 7.
It will be your last UAAP finals. Last opportunity to don blue and white. Last time to dive, to dig, to receive for Ateneo. Last time to play for Ateneo.
It is your one last dig for the one big fight in your one last flight.
Dig it Baby G, one last time.