FEU’s ouster from 13th Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference contention has been both devastating and frustrating to star spiker Bernadeth Pons.
Sidelined because of an unfortunate ankle injury she suffered right before the Final Four, the Negros Occidental native expressed her disappointment at the sequence of events that turned the Lady Tamaraws from favorites to a group battling for the bronze medal.
“Sobrang sakit para sa akin kasi gusto kong tumulong pero wala akong magawa,” she said after FEU absorbed a sweep at the hands of upstart Ateneo. “Nagbigay na lang ako ng advice kung ano pwede ko masabi sa kanila para ma-boost yung morale.”
Alas, Pons’s on-court contributions were much-needed as the Morayta side could not break through against a team they handily defeated when they first met in the tournament.
“Siguro makakatulong naman ako kung naglaro ako,” she shared. “E wala, wrong timing yung injury. Frustrating kasi sayang yung pinaghirapan namin since nag-start yung conference.”
“Sobrang importante sa akin kasi ang ganda ng start namin, nag-number one kami tapos biglang 3rd-4th lang pala lalaruan namin,” she added.
If Pons was in control, she said she would’ve played despite the injury to help FEU enter the Finals after failing to defend their title last year.
But the coaching staff led by coach Shaq delos Santos was firm to assert their authority in the matter and barred Pons even from training before the do-or-die game last Wednesday.
“Sila coach gusto rin nila na ipahinga ko na muna. Kahapon pa lang sinabi na nila sa akin na hindi daw muna ko maglalaro. Kahapon hindi rin talaga ko sumabay sa training nila,” she said.
“Kaya ko naman. Pero pagdating naman sa talon di ko pa na-try. Kasi kahapon gusto long itry kaso pinagbawalan nga ko kasi mag-UAAP na din ng beach volley. Kailangan totally heal pagpasok.” — By John Chester Fajardo