“Hindi siya bago sa akin.”
This was how La Salle spiker Mika Reyes addressed the booing she got from the Ateneo crowd during Game 1 of the UAAP Season 78 final Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Known to be one of the most intense players in the collegiate ranks, Reyes was seen on top of her game, celebrating every point with staredowns that did not sit well with the fans of the opposing side.
“Ever since rookie pa lang ako, ganun na talaga sila sa akin. And as a player naman, hindi ko siya tine-take seriously,” she told the press. “Kahit sino ang crowd, kahit sino ang opponent, gaganunin ka talaga kasi that is their way to cheer for their team.”
True enough, the jeering did not seem to be much of a factor on the middle blocker’s performance as she scored 13 points, 6 of which came from kill blocks..
With Reyes and the rest of the Lady Spikers remaining composed all throughout the match, they get one step closer to the title that slipped from their hands in the past 2 seasons.
On handling the pressure from Ateneo’s 7th man, Reyes shares, “We’ll take it as a challenge na lang. I-convert mo siya since part talaga ‘yun ng game and part ng rivalry ng Ateneo-La Salle.”
Though it only took La Salle 3 sets to win the tussle, it was a painful slow start for the Taft crew especially in the first frame wherein they were down at the 1-7 stretch of the match.
Reyes’s entry, however, changed the texture of the Lady Spikers’ game as her blocking and intensity ignited the fire of the entire squad.
“Siyempre sa amin, malayo pa ‘yung end ng game na ‘yun. One point at a time ang lagi kong sinasabi sa teammates ko. Kunin natin ‘yan at wag tayo magmadali. Eventually, nakadikit kami,” she said, talking about having another ‘diesel’ start.
After delivering on her promise to be on-point for Game 1, Reyes said it will be the same mindset moving forward as she nears the curtain call of her UAAP career.
“Game 2, same mindset. Lalaban kami. Hindi pa tapos ‘yung laban. Hindi porket nakuha namin ‘yung Game 1 magiging kumpyansa na kami. Tuloy-tuloy pa rin kami,” said the 2-time champion.
“Enjoy lang the game. I will enjoy the sport that I love,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio