There were times this season that De La Salle University team captain Kim Fajardo’s leadership was questioned.
Especially after their loss to the the National University Lady Bulldogs, La Salle really showed that they were still a team in transition.
But when her team needed her most, Fajardo stepped up and delivered the game of her life against the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
Normally, setters are expected to provide opportunities for their spikers. Fajardo did not only that, but also took the scoring into her own hands.
Off terrific serves and 1-2 play finishes, Fajardo tallied a match-high 13 points and led her squad to a decisive win over Ateneo.
According to Fajardo, there wasn’t really any pressure on her to score. She just reacted to the flow of the game.
“Ginawa ko lang talaga kung ano ‘yung normally gagawin ko sa mga sitwasyon noong laro. Kung anong ginagawa ko sa practice, kung paano kami naghanda, nagtiwala lang ako doon,” Fajardo told the media.
“Siguro para rin ipakita sa teammates ko, sa team ko, na kaya ko ring i-lead sila kahit setter ako, so ayun. Parang kahit anong mangyari, kahit anong daanan naming situation, tutulungan ko sila kahit anong mangyari,” she continued.
Having dropped their past six matches to the Lady Eagles, Fajardo is happy that a piece of La Salle’s pride as a top team is back. However, she knows not to put too much weight on a single match.
“Siyempre masaya kami na ganun ‘yung nangyari pero siyempre hindi rin kami dapat tumigil kung nasaan man kami ngayon. Parang kung anong lumabas ngayon, di naman namin ine-expect na ganoon yung mangyari pero syempre pinaghandaan namin at alam namin sa sarili namin, ito na yung best namin, papakita namin kung ano ang meron kami ngayong araw na ito,” she remarked.
“Kasi Ateneo-La Salle. Rivalry yan wala na kaming paki-alam sa rankings, kung ano man yan. Ang nasa isip lang namin, siguro, pride. Kailangan manalo kami dito. Ateneo-La Salle, la salle kami, papatalo ba kami?,” Fajardo added.
For the first time in two seasons, the tournament will not head into a stepladder Final Four. But Fajardo claims that it doesn’t change La Salle’s focus at all.
“Sa amin talaga kahit na anong mangyari, basta kami lalaban kami hanggang huli, so kung maka-sweep man sila, wala na kami dun, basta maglalaro na kami ng all out, ‘yun na ‘yun. Papakita namin kung ano na ‘yung team ng La Salle ngayon.”
Now at 5-1, La Salle have a chance to finish the first round in first place with a win against the University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.