Fighting for a slot in the classification phase, Foton guest player Mary Rhose Dapol made sure to reintroduce herself to her former collegiate rivals in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference on Saturday morning.
The reigning NCAA MVP went up against a Farm Fresh side bolstered by College of St. Benilde standouts. She exploded for a game-high 28 points, along with 16 excellent digs and seven excellent receptions, as the Tornadoes secured a reverse sweep of the Foxies with scores of 18-25, 23-25, 31-29, 25-20, 18-16.
Dapol also played a pivotal role in the fifth set, alongside Shaya Adorador. Together, they kept Foton alive before Jaila Atienza and May Luna stepped up and delivered the finishing blows in the extended frame, eventually propelling the Tornadoes to the classification phase.
“For me po sobrang saya po kasi hanggang dulo po nagtutulungan yun team.
“Hanggang dulo lumalaban po kaya yung first win po namin sobrang happy po namin as a team saka yung mga Foton supporters,” said Dapol as Foton needed to overcame an early 0-2 set disadvantage, and an marathon third set, to get the win.
The 23-year-old native of Lucena revealed that her past encounters with Lady Blazers stars Cloanne Mondonedo, Gayle Pascual, and Zamantha Nolasco gave her the much-needed boost to save Foton from a fourth consecutive loss.
Dapol also mentioned that getting their crucial win at the expense of her ex-NCAA rivals made the victory even sweeter. Back in NCAA Season 98, Dapol’s Perpetual team almost swept the entire elimination round but lost to Benilde in the first half of the season.
“Opo, sobrang laking tulong po [na kilala ko na sila] kasi at the same time, yung iba pong Benilde na players kilala ko na rin yung galawan kaya hindi na rin mahirap kapain sa loob ng court kapag sila yung gumagalaw,” explained Dapol.
“Sobrang saya po kasi yung pride ko, nakabawi ako sa Benilde,” Dapol added, as she has yet to defeat the Lady Blazers since joining Perpetual in Season 97.
Dapol, who is set to return to the Lady Altas after her stint with Foton, revealed that her experience in the Invitational Conference will be of great help in her school’s upcoming campaign in NCAA Season 99.
“Sobrang laking tulong po at the same time malaking liga ‘tong nasalihan ko. Pagbalik ko ng NC[AA], sana maadapt ko and matulungan ko yung Perpetual na itaas lalo yung school namin.”