Bernadeth Pons is not only delivering the goods for the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, she also keeps on accomplishing her goals in her final playing year after helping the Lady Tamaraws clinch the second spot and the last twice-to-beat incentive, before going to the Final Four of the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
As she promised last week, Pons accomplished her mission of giving the Lady Tamaraws their first twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four round since Season 71, and earned her second straight UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week.
The 21-year old spiker, who hails from Negros Occidental, stepped up when it mattered most in their last two matches. FEU now finish the season in second place with a 10-4 win-loss record, and are armed with a twice-to-beat edge before facing the third running Ateneo de Manila University on Saturday next week.
The do-it-all outside hitter delivered 13 points including as 13 digs and as many as receptions, as her team made a quick work of the University of the East Lady Warriors in straight sets, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, last Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
She finished the elimination round with 17 points — including 16 receptions — in their victory against the National University Lady Bulldogs, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-20, which clinched them the number two spot on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Masaya kami na natapos namin yung second round, na naipanalo namin ang last three games namin,” she said. “Ang pressure palagi namang nand’yan, palagi naman naming nire-remind ang bawat isa na hindi namin siya dapat i-take as pressure, kasi lalo lang kaming mawawala sa kung ano ang dapat naming gawin.
“So china-challenge namin palagi nag sarili namin, kung ano ‘yung mga dapat naming gawin, kung ano ang role namin sa team, ‘yun,” she added.
Pons bested DLSU Lady Spikers’ Kianna Dy and Michelle Cobb; Adamson Lady Falcons’ graduating players Mylene Paat and Jema Galanza; as well as Tots Carlos of the UP Lady Maroons for the last weekly honor given by beat sportswriters from broadsheets, tabloids, and online websites.
The Lady Tamaraw also ended the season with a good chance to win the Most Valuable Player plum, finishing in fourth place in the scoring race with a total of 215 points; eighth in the Best Spiker race with 198 kills on 30.6 percent success rate; and third both in digging (208 digs) and receiving (170 receptions on 45.2 percent efficiency rate).
For Pons, winning individual awards is just a bonus. Her real goal is to deliver the team’s 30th UAAP title in her final playing year.
“‘Yung mga individual awards naman bonus na lang ‘yun. Ako palagi lang akong nagfo-focus kung ano ‘yung dapat kong ibigay na maitutulong ko sa team, kung ano ‘yung kailangan ko mag-perform as a team captain and as a senior,” she said.
“‘Yung target naman namin is ‘yung trophy ng champion. ‘Yun ang pinakagusto naming makuha.”