Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, April 18, 2020 – The long journey is finally over for Gina Mambru as the opposite attacker became the tenth and final member of the Dominican Republic's women's national team to return to her native country after professional leagues were stopped due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
After spending more than two weeks in a hotel room in Sentul City courtesy of her PGN Popsivo Polwan team, Mambru was able to begin her trip home.
“My club PGN Popsivo Polwan took care of all my expenses for 17 days after the stoppage and until I received the green light to travel from Jakarta to Doha and then to Miami,” Mambru said. “That’s one full day in the air.”
After another four days in another hotel room in Miami, Gina then took a flight to Santo Domingo as the only passenger of a four-seat Cessna Citation Mustang.
“The pilots treated me like a real queen since the boarding at Opa locka, the domestic airport of Florida, until the arrival in Santo Domingo,” said Mambru. Now at the Albergue Olímpico for a quarantine period in Santo Domingo, Mambru is ready for another period at home with her parents Jose Manuel and Eusebia under the supervision of the Public Health service.
“I'm crazy to tickle my mom like I always do and talk to my dad face to face after so long away, that’s what I will do first as soon as I complete my time here,” she said.
“I want to thank Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, president of the female programme of the Dominican Federation for all his tireless efforts to bring me back home.” Mambru added. “Also to Luis Mejía, the president of the Olympic Committee for his morale support during the time I was stranded in Indonesia.”
Mambrú still regrets that the Indonesian league did not end when her team was already on the threshold of the playoffs.
“It was my second stint in Indonesia with the same club and surrounded by a lot of young players, so after two weeks there I was seen like a de facto captain,” the 34-year-old player commented. “Our coach was very happy with our results and we all were ready for the playoffs to start from zero.”
“I liked our chances of winning especially after the process our young players went through during the regular season which is like a fine-tuning period for all teams before the playoffs,” said Mambru who formed a strong offensive duo with Serbian Tijana Malesevic.
Now in her country but under the supervision of public health authorities, Mambru warns her compatriots about the need to stay home and only go out when necessary.