Long a respected name in international volleyball, Prisilla Rivera endeared herself to Filipino volleyball fans after several awe-inspiring performances for Akari in the 2022 PVL Reinforced Conference.
Leading a young team, Rivera made use of her power and skill to carry the Chargers on her back en route to a respectable 3-5 record, with a couple of wins against highly-regarded squads like Choco Mucho and F2 Logistics.
But did you know that the long-time Dominican Republic team captain played through the conference with not just one, but two injuries?
“I was just recovering from a tear in the abdomen and because of that, sometimes I didn’t attack with all my strength,” she told Akari Sports. “On the other hand, I had an infection and inflammation in another part of my body.”
But the 37-year-old outside hitter courageously battled through the odds, not even telling her teammates the predicament she was going through while undergoing round-the-clock treatment from the Chargers’ Grace Gomez.
At times, it was evident that Rivera was in pain, as she was unable to do a full swing because of her abdominal tear. This also limited her movements, especially on defending the floor, where Akari needed a lot of help in their maiden campaign.
There was one scary moment during the game against the Flying Titans, where Rivera collided with a teammate and writhed in pain for a few seconds on the court.
But like the warrior she is, Rivera just soldiered on and returned to the fight to complete the record-setting 44-point masterpiece she delivered in the Chargers’ second PVL victory.
For the three-time Olympian, sitting out wasn’t even an option.
“I played within those limitations because I could do it and I wanted to do it,” she said. “I wanted to play, win, show my best volleyball for me, for the team, for my fans.”
“I am very passionate about volleyball. I love this sport and I love what I do. For me, an opportunity to play, is a blessing from God,” she added.
True enough, with her passion and dedication, Rivera conquered her injuries and, along the way, captivated the hearts of not just the fans of Akari, but also the rest of the Philippine volleyball community.