Mercado embraces her inner legend

first_imgJo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast It’s the journey that excites Stephanie Mercado.Greatness is encoded in Stephanie Mercado’s DNA. For some, that may be a curse: Building an athletic career under the shadows of a parent who has achieved legend status in sports.But Mercado doesn’t run away from it. She fully embraces her bloodline.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Bata’ Reyes bows to Vietnamese foe for another SEA Games bronze PLAY LIST 02:02‘Bata’ Reyes bows to Vietnamese foe for another SEA Games bronze00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding She tried lawn tennis at first, seriously, to the point of taking lessons and attending summer camps. But one day, when she was about eight years old, neighborhood friends hauled her to the street for a game of volleyball. “It was just right outside our house but it also was the first time I realized how fun it was to play with a team; you’re six players in the court and you’re communicating and helping each other. That’s when I fell in love with the sport.”And she’s become very good at it. A champion with the vaunted La Salle program in the UAAP, Mercado has starred with several teams to become one of the more reliable hitters in the country. This year, though, she has decided to grow her roots, signing up for a long-term deal with new team Petro Gazz Angels in the Premier Volleyball League.It was a first for Mercado, committing to a team long-term. From an organizational point of view, it was easy to understand why.Petro Gazz entered the league with an air of optimism, not letting its status as a new squad get in the way of being competitive. Management, led by team owner Ricky Villavicencio, Petro Gazz vice president Retchel Gabales and team manager Camille Cruz, another former La Salle standout, has left no stone unturned for the team’s PVL stint.“It’s been very wonderful, it’s been great,” import Kadi Kullerkann said. “Especially for a new team, it’s surprising how organized they are.”ADVERTISEMENT Lady Spikers near crown “I consider myself lucky that my mother is who she is,” Mercado told Sports IQ, the Inquirer’s live multiplatform sports talk show, Thursday night.Mercado’s mother needs no introduction. Even to casual—millennial, too—sports fans, Lydia de Vega-Mercado is more than just a favorite target of internet death hoaxes. She has cemented her place in the pantheon of Philippine sports. Even across the continent, her name hauls back memories of glorious track conquests—Lydia, after all, was once Asia’s fastest woman.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownMercado, however, made it clear that she wasn’t in a race to match her mother’s accomplishments—literally.“When I was growing up, I realized I didn’t even like jogging—what more sprinting,” Mercado said. “My parents never pressured me to follow my mom’s footsteps. They gave me the freedom to choose my own sport.” For Mercado, Petro Gazz represents something different.“I was excited to be part of a new squad,” she said. “We may have to start from the bottom but the chance to stay together and reach the top, that journey is what excites me.”“Whatever it takes,” she added. “Nothing ever comes easy after all but the journey really excites me.”And this is why she finds it easy to navigate through her athletic career with absolutely no fear of being an asterisk to her mother’s legend. The lessons Lydia imparts to her daughter (“She gives me advice on how to be a better athlete on the court and how to be a better person outside of it,” Stephanie said) is something that guides Mercado.“I remember my mom once told me that she came home empty-handed after her first Palarong Pambansa,” Mercado said. “Then her parents, my grandparents, asked her: ‘What happened?’ She said ‘I know I can beat them but I just lacked the proper training.’”“Then my grandfather asked her, ‘Are you sure about that? Because if you are, then tomorrow we start training hard and there’ll be no turning back.’ My mother said yes and the rest is history.”That’s the arc Mercado hopes to trace. She said yes to a long-term deal with Petro Gazz and there’s no turning back anymore. She may be in it for the journey. But don’t be surprised if, one day, she tows the team to the finish line ahead of the rest of the field.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident View commentslast_img read more

Linden businessman nabbed with illegal gun, ganja

first_imgA Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) businessman was on Monday arrested by Police ranks after an unlicensed gun with matching ammunition and a quantity of cannabis were found in his possession.The gun and cannabis found by PolicePolice information reveals that the 31-year-old suspect who resides in Silver City, Wismar, Linden was carrying a 9mm pistol with 10 live matching rounds and in excess of 16 grams of cannabis. The businessman was intercepted by ranks on patrol duty at the Aranka trail at the Cuyuni River where he was searched and the items found.He is expected to make a court appearance at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.Just two days ago, 29 persons were arrested during a Police operation in the Agricola, Greater Georgetown and North Road, Bourda areas. They were questioned for offences which range from possession of a firearm and its components, cocaine, and marijuana, and armed robberies.The Police also confirmed that two motorcycles, a number of mobile phones, and other items suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully attained were discovered and confiscated.last_img read more

Brisbane gets first boarding call for Red Centre

first_imgUluru, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park_credit David KirklandBrisbane gets first boarding call for Red CentreBrisbanites will get their very first boarding call for the Red Centre with an announcement today that Jetstar will start thrice-weekly flights between the Queensland capital and Australia’s most famous monolith, Ulu­ru in August.Jetstar’s new low fare service will fly from Brisbane direct into Australia’s spiritual heart and land at Ayers Rock Airport (Yulara/AYQ), giving Queenslanders and international visitors unprecedented access to the Red Centre and its diversity of cultural experiences.Michael Tennant, Acting CEO for the NT’s Department of Tourism and Culture, welcomed the move saying Tourism NT would continue to work closely with airline partners, like Jetstar, to strengthen the viability of existing routes and to increase demand to help establish new routes into the Northern Territory.“Brisbane is a key international gateway airport (after Sydney and Melbourne) and, until now, there have been no direct flights between Brisbane and Uluru,” he said. “That’s all about to change on August 3 – and what a great time to visit.”Mr Tennant said Jetstar was the second airline in a matter of months to announce new services from Brisbane to the Red Centre, with Virgin Australia set to commence services to Alice Springs from June 19.”Today’s announcement also coincides with Voyages Ayers Rock Resort opening the doors on its newly refurbished 100-room, boutique-style Lost Camel property at Yulara. This modern mid-scale hotel, just 20 minutes from Uluru, had been used for staff accommodation since 2012 and reopens to the general public on 1 July this year.Why put it off when you can fly direct? To celebrate the launch, flights between Brisbane and Yulara go on sale today with tickets priced from $89: announcements come off the back of the Northern Territory Government’s recent $103 million Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package.To plan your Northern Territory adventure visit: northernterritory.comSource = Tourism NTlast_img read more