KIM Fajardo accepted La Salle’s fate like a true sportsman, saying the loss of key players Ara Galang and Camille Cruz to injury during the UAAP women’s volleyball finals is not an excuse for the team’s two-game sweep at the hands of two-time champion Ateneo.
One of the veteran Lady Spikers, Fajardo stressed that even in the absence of the two, the Taft-based school still believed and determined that it can beat the odds despite the thrice-to-beat advantage enjoyed by the unbeaten Lady Eagles in the title series.
She likewise said it was an opportunity for her and the rest of the team to step up and deliver.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go their way.
“Alam po namin na kulang kami sa loob ng court pero hindi naman kami sobrang down sa skills,” said Fajardo shortly after the Lady Eagles retained their title, 25-22, 25-17, 25-23. “Alam po namin na kayang-kaya namin.”
“Pero kinapos na kami.”
Cruz suffered an ACL tear in her right knee in Game One of the series. It was her third injury of the same nature in her playing career, forcing the lanky spiker to miss the title-clinching match on Saturday.
But the biggest loss for the Lady Spikers was Galang, the team’s acknowledged star and leader after sustaining tears in her ACL, MCL, and meniscus, and bone bruise in her left knee during their do-or-die encounter against National University going to the finals.
Galang never got to play in the title series as her timetable for recovery has been diagnosed to be from six to eight months.
After the loss, Fajardo shook hands with Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez, the Season 77 Most Valuable Player. Valdez and Fajardo were former teammates in high school at University of Santo Tomas before going the separate ways in college, playing for Ateneo and La Salle, respectively.
Despite the title defeat, Fajardo said she was proud of the Lady Spikers’ effort even with the absence of their key players.
“Kahit kulang kami, ginawa po namin ‘yung best namin,” she added.