NO matter what's at stake, Aby Marano will always be on 'beast mode.'
And Sunday's charity game between La Salle and Ateneo was no exception.
The F2 Logistics stalwart gave her all as she donned the Lady Spikers' colors anew against the Lady Eagles in a game dubbed "Battle of the Rivals" played before a jampacked crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 24-year-old spiker dropped 16 points including some ferocious attacks in the final frame before the Lady Spikers went down against their rival in a 17-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-13 thriller.
The event was held for the benefit of the scholars of the two schools' athletic programs.
"Beast mode pa rin talaga ako. Beast mode ako parati kasi gusto ko yun ang i-set kong standard ng paglalaro ko kahit saan ako naglalaro," she said after the match witnessed by thousands of roaring fans from both schools.
"Hindi lang masyado yung swag kasi hindi naman masyado intense ang game parang gusto ko lang ma-perform pa rin ng tama ang gagawin ko. Tapos wala masyadong ibang eksena."
The former La Salle team captain said she was also trying to set an example to her successors, who regained the UAAP women's volleyball title this year at the expense of the Lady Eagles.
"Ate na ako ng mga ito eh, kailangan mag-perform ako. Kailangang mag-set ako as a role model sa kanila na dapat ganito ang performance whether exhibition ito o hindi, dapat ganito ang performance," she said.
"Kumbaga yung bunga ng mga pinaghirapan ko noong collegiate kailangan maipakita ko sa kanila. Kaya all-out din ako kanina."
Unlike their previous losses at La Salle, this one didn't hurt a bit.
"Hindi ko alam parang masaya lang. Ang saya-saya ko lang kahit na talo kami. Di masakit," she said. "Parang ang mindset ko lang ngayon ay maglaro at mag-enjoy at ma-experience ko ulit na naglalaro kami sa MOA," she said.
More than anything, Marano was just thankful for the fans who trooped to the Pasay City venue just to support their cause.
"Buhay pa din saka nagpapasalamat ako kasi kahit na graduate na kami nandito pa rin ang pagmamahal nila sa amin. Effort pa rin sila, na gagastos sila para sa amin makita lang kaming maglaro. Sobranng overwhelming maglaro kanina eh," she said.
"Yung thought lang na kahit graduate ka na tapos ang mahal ng ticket nagpupunta sila rito para makapanood sila. Ang sarap maglaro para sa kanila."