MANILA, Philippines – There was no way that Far Eastern University (FEU) captain Bernadeth Pons would have two bad games in a row.
The versatile open hitter was coming off a dismal five-point performance against Ateneo de Manila University last week. She had 10 digs in the game, but without her scoring the Lady Tamaraws had little chance against the Lady Eagles, and Ateneo claimed a surprisingly quick 25-19, 25-21, 25-17 win.
"Last game, mas marami pa ang in-error ko kaysa pinuntos ko," Pons said a week later. "Sabi ko sa sarili ko na 'yun ang pinaka-worst na game ko this season."
"So sabi ko hindi ko na afford na maglaro pa ulit na ganun, na sobrang pangit talaga, sobrang lala ng errors. Sabi ko sa sarili ko na kailangan last na 'yun," she added.
Pons walked the talk in their game against University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Wednesday, when she scored 15 points along with 18 digs and eight excellent receptions to lead the way in FEU's 25-21, 25-21, 25-23 victory.
She came up with the winning attacks in Sets 1 and 2, then fired the kill that brought the Lady Tamaraws to match point before Czarina Carandang finished off the Golden Tigresses with an ace.
The fifth-year veteran also outplayed her friendly rival, Sisi Rondina, who was limited to 11 points in the contest.
Pons is determined to give the same top level effort in every game that they have left in their UAAP Season 80 schedule, as this is her last chance to lead the Lady Tamaraws to the finals of the women's volleyball tournament.
"Parang every game kasi, iniisip ko talaga na last year ko na 'to, last chance ko na, so kailangan i-all out ko na lahat, wala ng pigil-pigil. So mindset ko na 'yun eh, kasi 'yun nga, sabi ko siyempre gusto ko rin na bago ako grumaduate, makuha namin 'yung championship," Pons explained.
"Eto na 'yung last year ko kasi hindi pa kami nakatikim ng championship since pumasok ako ng FEU. Ito na lang 'yung last chance ko na din, so 'yun mindset ko na 'yun na every game, iniisip ko talaga na last ko na," she added.
Thanks to her bounce-back performance and a superb showing against the Golden Tigresses, the graduating open spiker will be full of confidence heading into Sunday's showdown against defending champion De La Salle University.
"Kailangan pa rin na paghirapan pa namin ang mga susunod naming game, kailangan maipanalo namin ang remaining games namin para maganda ang maging spot namin after the second round," said Pons.
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