Playing out her fifth and final playing year for the College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers was not a simple decision for middle blocker Rachel Austero.
The NCAA allows only undergraduates to play in their tournament. Austero was just a few units away from finishing her Production Design degree last year.
In order for Austero to play one more year, she would need to shift to another undergrad program.
She needed to really think about it but, when the time came, Austero decided to shift to Interior Design, extending her stay at Taft for another six to eight terms.
Despite how Season 94 ended for Austero’s Lady Blazers, she has no regrets.
“Sobrang proud ako sa team kasi, first of all, binigay nila ‘yung best nila.
“Makikita mo ‘yung fire sa mata nila and lumaban talaga sila para sa community, para sa Benilde and para sa buong team, most especially kay coach Jerry Yee,” said the 21-year-old Austero after the Lady Blazers were bounced out of the Final Four. Despite holding a twice-to-beat advantage, CSB failed to overcome the hungry Perpetual Help Lady Altas.
In her final match, Austero poured in 17 points in five sets.
Austero won a championship and made the Final Four in each of her five NCAA seasons.
If she would leave anything behind for her teammates, Austero hopes the remaining Lady Blazers remain confident, just as she was.
“Naniwala sila sa sarili nila. ‘Yung pinapakita ko na naniniwala ako sa kanila as a senior, ‘yun siguro ‘yung nadagdag ko sa kanila, nakadagdag ako sa confidence nila.”