“Tara. Uwi na tayo habang maaga pa.”
These 7 words may seem harmless but these were all it took to awaken the beast in UP’s Tots Carlos in their Saturday matchup against FEU.
Usually jovial and good-natured inside the court, Carlos, from the third set onwards, showcased a different side of her self when she engaged FEU skipper Remy Palma at the net for some heated exchange of good volleyball and innocuous banter.
“May sinabi kasi siya. Taga Pampanga kami, diba? Sabi niya nung third set habang nandun kami sa harap: ‘Tara. Uwi na tayo habang maaga pa.’ in Kapampangan,” revealed the incoming sophomore.
“Hindi naman ako na-insulto. Na-inspire lang ako. Sabihin ko sana ayaw ko pa pero wag na lang. Dinaan ko na lang din sa ganun (angas),” she added.
Ditching her game face for staredowns and smirks, the middle blocker exploded for 20 points, matching the output of teammate Isa Molde and outperforming Palma’s 15 markers.
And while UP head coach Jerry Yee is known to oppose trash talking at the net, Carlos shared today was a different scenario.
“Siyempre Palma kilala naman natin ‘yan. Kilala siya na ganyan talaga ang laro niya. Kaya sabi ni coach, kesa poker face kami at nada-down ‘yung laro namin, why not umangas din? Basta hindi bababa ‘yung laro namin,” shared Carlos.
On showing a whole new dimension to her brand of play, she adds: “Tingin ko naman nakatulong siya sa laro ko. Kailangan din sumabay kasi diba? Na-fire up ako.”
Palma, known for her intimidating mind games and her agility in spiking and blocking, already had a record of engaging in extra action at the net with the likes of Aby Maraño and Mika Reyes.
Surprisingly, Palma, just like Carlos, is also a Pampanga native prompting the Lady Maroon to say it could be the famed Kapampangan trait of never giving up as the culprit of their heated showdown.
“Teammates kami dati. First year ako tapos siya fourth year na,” said Carlos.
“Eh sa mga Kapampangan may ganung factor: ayaw magpatalo. Sumabay ako. Pero walang personalan ‘yun. After game naman nag-uusap kami. Friends kami niyan,” she added.
But even though it brought out the best in Carlos, her efforts were not enough to snap UP’s losing streak to FEU that dates back to Season 77.
UP is a much stronger now than its iteration from 2 years ago but the Lady Maroons’ character obviously needs work.
“Nung first set ang layo na namin tapos hinabol pa kami. Wala kaming first ball. Nataranta kami,” she said talking about squandering an 8-point lead in the first frame.
“Nakita naman ng lahat na sa character kami kulang. Skills okay naman kami eh,” closed Carlos. —By Mac Dionisio