Bernadeth Pons is reliable. She might not always be in her all-around form, but the Negrense always makes sure to make up for it.
The 22-year-old showed exactly that when the Petron Blaze Spikers faced off against perennial rivals F2 Logistics Cargo Movers. Coming into the match, Pons had been on a slump, hitting her lowest point with a dud against the Generika-Ayala Lifesavers.
But Pons was back to her lowkey dominant ways against the Cargo Movers. The Far Eastern University standout provided 16 points, 21 digs, and five excellent receptions, and helped the Blaze Spikers stay perfect in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference.
“‘Yung naging motivation ko ‘yung mga past games namin kasi ‘yun nga, hindi naging maganda ‘yung mga pinakita ko sa past few games namin so sabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Hindi ako yun, hindi ako ganoon maglaro’,” the 5-foot-7 spiker shared.
“So kailangan ko bumawi, kailangan ko maibalik ‘yung kumpiyansa ko. So sabi ko sisimulan ko ngayon sa game na ‘to.”
Through her slump, Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos kept Pons in the starting lineup. Pons was glad she finally repaid her long-time coach’s trust.
“Ilang games na rin na medyo hindi maganda ‘yung nilaro ko, pero nandiyan pa rin ako naka-stay pa rin ako sa first six,” Pons admitted.
“Sobrang laki ng tiwala niya sa akin, so motivation na rin yun para sa akin na binibigyan ako ng chance ni coach, so dapat patunayan ko sa kanya na hindi ko ‘yun sasayangin.”
After leading the FEU Lady Tamaraws to the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Finals, Pons is now in the first year of her full-time pro career. She knows that she has to keep focused now that there’s heightened expectations from Petron.
“Ito na lang “yung pinaglalaruan, ko wala naman ng ibang liga na pinaglalaruan ako. Trabaho ko na rin ito, so kailangan ‘yung sarili ko ibigay ko na rin.”