After five years of unwavering service for Far Eastern University, it’s high time for Bernadeth Pons to finally receive an individual award.
On Wednesday afternoon, in the UAAP Season 80 closing ceremony by hosts FEU, Pons finally received one — the UAAP’s Athlete-Scholar award.
The award is for UAAP players who have displayed exemplary academic performance while also excelling in their respective sports.
Pons fell short of bagging any award for beach and indoor volleyball but she finds her silver lining in the Athlete-Scholar nod because it acknowledged not only her athletic prowess but also her determination as a Financial Management student.
“It’s an honor na maka-receive ng ganitong award kasi sabi nga dun kanina na this award means na nag-excel sa studies at sa pag-lalaro,” said the 21-year-old Tamaraw.
“I’m so happy.”
However, there is no denying that at any given time, she would take the championship trophy instead.
“Siyempre, iba pa rin kung nag-champion kami sana kasi yun talaga yung pinaka-gusto ko na sana makuha sa FEU. Kasi syempre sobrang tagal na talagang nawala ng FEU,” the four-time UAAP silver medalist rued.
“Sobrang daming championship ng FEU, kami pinaka-maraming championship pero gusto ko din sana na sa limang taon ko mabigyan ko ng kahit isa pero di siya nangyari.”
She went on to express her regret, especially over the first set of Game Two, where they could have taken an early advantage but were still not able to find the closing punch.
“Yung first set talaga ako nanghihinayang kasi it’s 24-21 tapos natalo pa rin kami. Kung nakuha namin yun, iba na yun eh,” the Talisay, Negros Occidental native reflected.
“‘Di talaga para sa amin eh, last one na lang eh, isa na lang eh, ‘di pa talaga nakuha so wala, ganun talaga eh — may nanalo, may natatalo, tanggap na lang.”
Nonetheless, she expressed great faith in the capacity of the Lady Tamaraws to fight back next season.
“Pero happy pa rin ako na nakakuha ako ng award kahit di namin nakuha yung goal namin ngayong season so naniniwala naman ako na kaya nila kuhanin yun for the next season,” said the amiable athlete.
As for Pons’s life after UAAP, she has her focus on her upcoming beach volleyball tournament in Philippine Superliga on May 23, where she plays for Petron with partner Sisi Rondina.
“Kailangan mag-move on. Next journey.”