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Pablo’s Finals MVP a sign of great things to come in her final year

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With veterans in tow, the NU Lady Bulldogs blasted the heavily favored Ateneo Blue Eagles in the final two games of the series to take the SVL Collegiate Conference title.

Fifth-year open hitter, Myla Pablo was one of those veterans. The Tarlac native scored in double digits in NU’s last two games which was enough to make her the MVP in a team that pulled together multiple heroic performances.

“Hindi ko po talaga inexpect kasi akala ko kay ate Din [Manabat], or kay Jorelle nila ibibigay. Ang ganda kasi talaga ng nilaro ng buong team. Hirap na hirap nga po ako sa depensa e. Sinasabihan ko na lang sila na tulungan nila ako, gagawin ko lang ‘yung best ko. Pero ang laking pasasalamat ko po na naging MVP pa rin ako,” said Pablo.

“Hindi po talaga namin inakala na maiistraight set namin ulet ‘yung Ateneo. Siyempre po heartstrong yan e, hindi talaga sila magpapatalo ng basta-basta. Ang sabi lang po namin sa sarili namin, ibigay lang namin lahat namin ngayon,” she added.

She continued saying that the large gallery of Ateneo fans nearly affected her and the team, but, unlike NU teams of old, her squad had the mental fortitude to focus on the match. “Nakaka-down po talaga kasi ang liit ng crowd ng NU tapos ang laki ng sa Ateneo. Kaya po noong unang timeout ng first set. Nagusap po talaga kami, ginawa naming motivation ‘yung isa’t isa saka na mapasaya namin ‘yung mga supporters namin na pumunta.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Pablo's Finals MVP a sign of great things to come in her final year

Myla Pablo gives NU’s former courtside reporter, Tricia Robredo, a hug after NU’s victory over Ateneo

In one of the most touching moments of the season, Myla pulled head coach Roger Gorayeb up to the podium after receiving her MVP trophy and shared a hug.

“Ang laking tulong po talaga ni coach di lang para sa akin, pero lalo na po sa team. Siya po kasi ‘yung tumatayong tatay namin sa loob ng court, malaki ‘yung tulong niya po sa confidence namin saka ‘yung training niya po,” Pablo remarked.

Coach Roger also prophetically called Myla’s MVP award way before she won it. “Matagal na po sinasabi sa akin ni coach na kaya ko po talaga maging MVP. Makinig lang daw po ako sa kanya saka sipagan lang ‘yung ensayo, susundan na lang daw po ako ng marami pang awards,” she recalled.

Pablo, however, doesn’t want this to be the highlight of her collegiate career as she still wants to bring a UAAP championship to Sampaloc. “Malaking bagay po na Ateneo ‘yung natalo namin, extra confidence para sa incoming UAAP season. Gusto ko po kasi talaga mapa-champion ‘yung NU bago ako gumraduate para po masuklian ko lahat ng naitulong sa akin ng NU.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Pablo's Finals MVP a sign of great things to come in her final year

Pablo has come a long way – from a finger gun slinging rookie, to a calm and powerful veteran. Early in her career, injuries to her foot and knee severely hampered her improvement. 2014, however, marked a spike in Myla’s performance. Having played for the National U23 team and the Seniors team in tournaments in Vietnam and China, Pablo has become decisively devastating with her attacks.

“Kasi sa international po ang laki ng mga kalaban. Kaya dun po talaga kailangan maganda lagi ‘yung mga palo namin,” she shared. Pablo also lost a significant amount of weight which she attributes to a healthy diet and rigorous workouts.

NU will need an MVP-like performance from Pablo in the UAAP as she will be one of the team’s few veterans in the collegiate wars. With Typhoon Pablo whipping opponents, NU is set to finish UAAP 78 better than they did last season.

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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