Volleyin’ times: PVL players’ stories of love

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Young sports couples: Kianna Dy and Dwight Ramos, Ivy Lacsina and Deanna Wong, Aby Marano and Camille Kal, Shaya Adordor and Jasmine Nabor and Michelle Cob and Vito Sotto. –ART/MARLO CUETO 

MANILA, Philippines — It takes communication, chemistry, passion, understanding, and commitment to succeed in any team sport, including volleyball.

The same goes for maintaining a healthy relationship.

Ahead of the opening of the PVL All-Filipino Conference, these volleyball stars, whose partners understand the rigors of the sport being athletes themselves, share how they overcome the challenges of being a sports couple.

Kianna Dy and Dwight Ramos: Surviving the long distance

Kianna Dy and Dwight Ramos.

Kianna Dy and Dwight Ramos. –KIM KIANNA DY INSTAGRAM

Kianna Dy and Dwight Ramos may be miles away from each other, living in the different worlds of basketball and volleyball but communication has been working wonders for their long-distance relationship.

Ramos, a Gilas basketball star, has been playing in the Japan B.League for the past three years, while Dy has emerged as one of the top players in the PVL.

“Of course, communication is very important in LDR. Without that. it’s hard.  Tiisin lang yung days magiging worth it din yan at the end,” Dy said.

The long-distance hasn’t stopped Dy and Ramos from still being supportive of each other.

The Levanga Hokkaido guard makes sure to watch Dy’s PVL games whenever he’s in the country while the opposite spiker flying to Japan to watch Ramos’ game during her free time. Dy even went to Okinawa during the B.League All-Star when his boyfriend was the captain of the Filipino-laden Asia All-Stars.

The couple, known as “KKDwight” for their fans, said they’ve been sharing their personal and professional problems. Dy got Ramos’ full support when her longtime team F2 Logistics disbanded until she found her new home at PLDT.

“We always talk every day. My problems, his problems we share with each other and kahit malayo naman kami we figure it out both together how to fix it,” said Dy, who missed the season-ending conference last year due to a knee injury.

Ramos arrived in Manila for Gilas’ Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers first window and will be with his girlfriend for a few weeks while preparing for their upcoming home-and-away stint.

Dy said that it’s not hard to be faraway from each other but their constant communication keeps them closer and stronger.

Shaya Adorador and Jasmine Nabor: Teamwork makes the dream work

Jasmine Nabor and Shaya Adorador.

Jasmine Nabor and Shaya Adorador. –SHAYA ADORADOR INSTAGRAM

Shaya Adorador and Jasmine Nabor are teammates on and off the court and every time they compete in the PVL, they use their relationship as their strongest advantage in outwitting their opponents.

And when things get tough–whether during the game or off it– Nabor and Adordor make sure they’re both there for each other.

“Kahit naman magusap kami na act normal muna sa training or sa games, sa part ko naman hindi ko maiwasan na hindi pa rin isipin kung anong meron sa amin lalo na siyempre pag nakikita mo yung isa na halimbawa siya nadadown siyempre andon ako na lamang pa rin as girlfriend kaysa sa as a teammate,” Nabor said.

“Kasi siyempre ibang usapan naman yung emotional tas pag uwi namin ng bahay maguusap kami kasi minsan kailangan din namin ipakita kung paano kami maguusap sa training.”

Adorador and Nabor have been teammates since the 2021 PVL Bubble in Ilocos Norte, where they won the championship together and their love story started.

“Pag nasa game kami, hindi siya normal na feeling na ginagawa ko lang siya na as teammate andoon pa rin talaga yung nakikita ko pa rin siya sa loob as partner,” said Adorador. “Pero kapag laro na and nagaaniman  kami lalo na pag nasa kabilang court ako, nasa kabilang court siya doon ko narerecognize na parang teammate kami hindi siya naalala muna as jowa.”

The couple called “DorNab” has been using their relationship as their ultimate strength to support each other and help their Chery Tiggo teammates in games.

“Natutulungan namin yung isa’t isa kung paano maghanda kapag training and may game. Tapos nakakapag usap kami kung may rant ka or may pinagdadaanan ka alam niya agad,” said Nabor.

Their relationship has gone a long way as they transferred to Foton in the Invitational Conference last year but the sister team of Chery Tiggo was disbanded and Nabor and Adorador came back home to the Crossovers.

The spiker-setter couple will have a busy  Valentine’s Day due to their preparation for the PVL All-Filipino Conference, which opens next week.

“Lagi kami magkasama so lagi namin nacecelebrate ang Valentines,” said Adorador.

Nabor said they will focus on training but will have a simple dinner to celebrate the special day.

Ivy Lacsina and Deanna Wong: Opponents on court, partners off it

Ivy Lacsina and Deanna Wong PVL

Ivy Lacsina and Deanna Wong. –IVY LACSINA INSTAGRAM

For Ivy Lacsina, love is all about compromising, which makes her relationship with Deanna Wong stronger.

The couple called “DeanVy” by their fans may have exchanged spikes, blocks, and stare-downs in Choco Mucho’s games against the defunct F2 Logistics, but Lacsina and Wong have been very supportive of each other off the court.

“Magkalaban lang naman kami sa loob ng court, pero pagdating sa labas naman siyempre i-advise ko siya, advise niya ako,” said Lacsina. “Tulungan pa rin kasi kami lang eh, kami lang dalawa ‘yung magkakampi talaga dito.”

Their on-court duel will continue as Lacsina represents the Nxled Chameleons against Wong and the retooled Flying Titans but their love for each other will always prevail.

As two of the fan favorites in the league, the star middle blocker admitted that sometimes it’s hard to handle the comments about their relationship on social media. But they always choose the people who support them.

“Nasa usapan na lang namin dalawa kung paano namin siya i-handle pero siyempre fini-filterout na lang namin kung ano ang makakatulong sa amin and ‘yung mga hindi makakatulong sa amin so parang if hindi siya healthy for us alisin na lang namin, ‘yung makakatulong sa amin ‘yun talaga ‘yung ine-embrace naming dalawa,” Lacsina said.

Aside from being professional athletes, the star volleyball couple also share furr babies and manage a coffee shop as their business venture, and Lacsina is grateful to have the fan-favorite setter as her partner in life for taking care of things even though she’s tired from training or games.

“Hindi kasi mahirap maging partner si Deanna kasi talagang hands on siya. Kahit pagod na pagod ‘yan, kapag nakita niya ako na hindi ko na kaya, siya talaga ‘yung nagwo-work,” Lacsina said. “Same din naman ako sa kanya kapag pagod din siya tulungan lang kami. ‘Yung advantage nung (pagiging volleyball player namin) is mas nagkakaintindihan kami.”

Aby Maraño and Kamille Cal: Volleyball as shared passion

Aby Maraño and Kamille Cal

Aby Maraño and Kamille Cal. –ABY MARANO INSTAGRAM

Aby Maraño keeps the fire burning in volleyball and her relationship with Kamille Cal, who shares the same passion and always finds a way to make her smile.

“Lagi pa rin akong kinikilig sa kanya kasi every single day pinaparamdam niya sa akin ‘yung worth ko and at the same time, ‘yung panliligaw hindi talaga nawawala, consistent in fairness,” said a blushing Maraño.

For Cal, she is striving to be the best partner for Maraño the same way she’s working hard to perform better on the court for her team.

“Love is a choice. Like volleyball, kahit sobrang pagod ko na, kahit sobrang hindi ko na kaya my god pero I love it!” said Cal. “I think it goes with every athlete naman na nandito, na babangon ako sa umaga, babangon ako pupunta akong ensayo not because su-sweldo ako, but because I want to improve. Gusto kong mag-improve sa larangan na minamahal ko.”

Maraño, a former national team member, said they have been supportive of each other even though they play for different teams.

“Although magkalaban kami, tinutulungan pa rin namin ang isa’t isa para mag-improve. Ako never akong nagdamot sa kanya kung ano ‘yung knowledge ko sa volleyball. And siya rin sa akin, kung ano ‘yung mga point of view ng katulad niya para sa akin, kahit beterana ako, tumatanggap ako at nakikinig ako sa kanya kapag may sinasabi siya,” said the veteran middle blocker.

The middle blocker-setter couple promises that their fans will continue to see on-court celebrations against each other when Cal’s Nxled battles Maraño and her new team Chery Tiggo.

“Kapag napuntusan ko rin naman siya, kunwari na-swag niya ako, the next game ‘pag nagtapat tayo at ako nakapuntos sa’yo humanda ka na lang sa pilantik kong ganoon ‘di ba?” said Cal, the sophomore PVL setter, said with laughter.

But after their on-court face-off, expect  Maraño and Cal to forget all the troubles once they step off the court.

“Intindihan talaga kasi minsan nag-sasabog kami kasi parehas sa pagod, pero at the end of the day kahit na naiinis kami sa isa’t isa konting touch lang ng kamay hahablutin na talaga tapos mag-holding hands kami kahit bad trip kami sa isa’t isa,” said Maraño. “Sa ganoong way nare-realize ko kahit papaano gumagaan ang loob ko, nawawala ‘yung tampo.”

“Si Aby kasi ayaw niya ‘yung pag-uusapan ‘yung volleyball pagdating sa bahay, gusto niya relax na lang. Pero ako iba, I really talk about volleyball, siya kahit ayaw niya she listens to me and minsan papayo siya,” said Cal. “Minsan sasabihin niya kung ano ang nakita niya kapag nanonood siya ng game and my way of supporting her is watching her games gusto niya ‘yun so I watch her games.”

Maraño and Cal plan for a simple Valentine’s date with the latter requesting her partner to cook for her.

“Sa Valentine’s siguro magiging mas intimate kami sa isa’t isa, spend time with each other. It doesn’t really have to very, very grand somewhere, spend a lot of money since we are both investing on some stuff. Magluto na lang siya, ipapakita ko kung gaano kasarap siya magluto,” Cal said.

Michelle Cobb and Vito Sotto: Mutual love and respect

Michelle Cobb and Vito Sotto PVL

Michelle Cobb and Vito Sotto. –MICHELLE COB INSTAGRAM

Akari setter Michelle Cobb may be playing a different sport but her boyfriend Vito Sotto, who is a professional football player and politician, still knows what to do to support his partner.

“Basically, being supportive, being there for each other when they need your quality time or kunyari kung pagod alam mo naman ‘yung paboritong pagkain or ‘yung milktea. It’s in the little things lang of being there for someone,” said the councilor of Quezon City District VI and player in the Philippines Football League (PFL).

Sotto said that being an athlete himself is an advantage because he can relate to Cobb’ worries whenever she’s coming from practice or a game.

“For any problem, no matter if it’s sports or any problem in general, you can’t really talk about your problems with someone who hasn’t experienced it. Of course, if they haven’t experienced it, they don’t understand it the way you do,” Sotto said.

“Definitely, same din naman sa every industry, kung nasa showbiz ka, nasa medical field ka kung ‘yung partner mo the same field syempre may ibang level of understanding so I’d say pro ‘yun as an athlete and as someone who has a partner that’s an athlete sobrang bonus,” the Cobb, former La Salle star said.

They may be both athletes but Sotto respects the boundaries of playing different sports and only advises Cobb when she asks him a thing or two.



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“And the only time I speak is kapag tinanong ako kasi siyempre at the end of the day siya yung pro on that thing, ayaw ko naman makialam unless tanungin ako kasi syempre it’s a way of respect din to the person,” he said.





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