Photo from: PVL | Joaqui Flores

Akari Chargers’ middle blocker Fifi Sharma had an electrifying debut for Alas Pilipinas in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup For Women at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Thursday night.

Sharma, who chipped in seven points in her first game for the national team, did not shy away from the spotlight while also giving credit to her setter, Jia De Guzman. 

“All I did was just do what I practice, and siguro nakakatulong din talaga na si ate Jia ‘yung setter ko kasi sobrang alam ko na pag papasok ako, bibigyan niya ‘ko ng bola so that’s a different kind of reassurance for us middle blockers,” Sharma said.

After dropping the opening set, the Philippines regrouped and cruised to a gentleman’s sweep of the Volleyroos.

“Parang naging wake-up call samin na we have to be more disciplined with our system kahit yung system na nabuo namin saglit lang,” the 5’11 middle blocker said. “Everyone was just determined to work hard and as one kaya namin nakuha ‘yung remaining sets,” she added.

Sharma also acknowledged the home crowd for cheering them on despite the slow start.

“This (support from the home crowd) is a big factor to the team kasi nga this win is important given na ang daming nag-support samin ngayon so talagang factor yun kung bakit kami nanalo,” the former La Salle standout marveled.

Not only that, Sharma experienced a ‘surreal’ moment amidst the intense battle last night — hearing the fans chanting her name while she was at the service line.

“Super na-touch ako kasi it’s so surreal hearing hundreds of people chant your name, parang ‘Oh my gosh! Nakakakilig!” Sharma gushed.

After realizing her lifelong dream, Sharma is not going to take this opportunity for granted.

“It feels so amazing. I can’t even begin to describe it in words. It’s still sinking in, parang wow this feels so good!”

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