As they say: time heals all wounds.
After helping lead the Adamson University Lady Falcons to fourth place during the UAAP Season 79 Women’s Basketball tournament, Kaye Pingol made a surprising decision. The all-around utility guard transferred to powerhouse squad National University Lady Bulldogs.
And it was a tough pill to swallow for the Lady Falcons, as losing Pingol meant a step backwards for the program’s development.
“Nung summer league pa lang parang nung una may galit pa sila sa akin e, kasi umalis ako,” reflected Pingol.
“Pero as time went on, nawala na rin yun. Natanggap na rin nila.”
Going in, the Ilo-ilo native knew that transferring to NU would bring plenty of pressure. Not only are the Lady Bulldogs trying to extend their reign to five seasons, they also had a streak to keep intact.
“Mas pressure dito sa NU kasi yung Lady Bulldogs four-peat na tapos wala pang talo.
“Anytime, puwedeng makuha sa amin yung panalo kaya napre-pressure kami. Every game dapat well-prepared ako kung tatawagin ako,” she shared.
In her fourth game, Pingol made it look like she had adjusted to the winning culture of the Lady Bulldogs, as she tallied 14 points and five steals during NU’s 57-point rout of the UP Lady Maroons.
Three days later, she had to face the music as she stood on the opposing side against her former team, Adamson.
Surprisingly, decorated head coach Patrick Aquino started her for the first time this season. And she did not disappoint, finishing with 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting and six steals. Moreover, she provided the spark that led to a 92-62 win for the Lady Bulldogs’ 69th straight victory.
“She had a good game. Yung sinabi namin na gawin niya, ginawa naman niya. Good thing is she’s mixing well na now sa first five,” Aquino remarked of Pingol’s performance.
“Masaya ako kasi nagtiwala kagad sa akin sila coach Pat and yung mga teammates ko,” added the 23-year-old, who is in her penultimate year in her collegiate career. “Lagi nilang sinasabi na laruin ko lang yung laro ko, isipin ko lang na magaling ako.
“Sabi sa kin ni coach Pat na ibigay ko lang yung best ko, tapos sila na bahala sa akin.”
Though it seemed that she played like she was on a mission, Pingol said otherwise. As a matter of fact, she was even seen kidding around with her former teammates during and after the game.
“Alam naman nila yung sa Adamson. ‘Pag sa court parang enemy kami pero sa labas friends pa rin kami. Walang personalan,” she quipped.
“Sabi nga nila sa akin na inagawan ko raw sila ng inagawan.”
And she is just grateful that the Lady Bulldogs have helped integrate into her new home.
“Okay lang yung adjustment ko. Pero nung una mahirap, malaking adjustment talaga para sa akin. Pero nagpapasalamat ako dahil tinanggap nila ako.”