It’s only symbolic that Kath Arado, one of the best underdogs in UAAP volleyball history, gets to end her career by trying to take down the dynasties of La Salle and Ateneo.
Unfortunately, Arado’s University of the East could not get it done against La Salle. Still, she had a cheerful glow following the match.
To most teams, a 3-10 record is a failure. For Arado and the Lady Warriors, it’s a symbol of hope for their once run-down program.
In Arado’s first two UAAP seasons, UE were winless. Hopelessness had taken them over. Arado and her batchmates Judith Abil, Lai Bendong, and Roselle Baliton never thought they’d ever win a game.
But slowly, things began looking up.
UE’s three-win tally, whether they add an upset against Ateneo to that tally or not, is already a monumental feat.
As the end of her UAAP career draws near, Arado finds respite that she and her batchmates have left UE in a better place than when they entered.
“May feeling na nalulungkot kasi matatapos na UAAP career ko. At the same time, kampante ako. Aalis kami sa team na alam kong may mararating ‘yung team namin next season,” the 20-year-old native of Iligan City said.
“Wala naman kaming pagkukulang as a senior. Nakikita namin sa kanila na nagiging matatag sila. Makikita mo din na hindi na kanya-kanya. Team talaga kami na pamilya ‘yung turingan. May lungkot kasi dito ako nagsimula. ‘Di naman sobrang lungkot kasi alam kong may papalit.”
The losses that once caused fissures within the team only gave her a better chance to know her teammates, Arado realized.
“Maraming times ‘yun. Masusubukan talaga ‘yung attitude ng bawat player lalo na kapag talo.
“Ngayong season na ‘to, manalo o matalo, malungkot o masaya, sama-sama talaga kami. Walang sisihan, walang pagsisi din. Walang ‘what if’, mga ganoon. Mas smooth kami sa pag-address ng pagkukulang namin sa training,” the 5-foot-5 defensive specialist shared.
In her final match, Arado wants people to expect her to be what she’s always delivered: one from the best libero in the country.
“Bibigay ko lahat na pwede kong i-contribute. Kilala ko ‘yung teammates ko, ‘di rin papayag ‘yan na matatapos ‘yung season namin na panget.”