THE mood was light in De La Salle's practice on this Tuesday morning, the Lady Spikers swinging to hip-hop music during breaks and chanting 'oreo cheesecake' during drills.
It was the eve of Game Two of the UAAP Season 78 women's volleyball finals, where La Salle, 1-0 up in the best-of-three finals, has a chance to wrest the title it lost to rival Ateneo the past two seasons.
Team captain Kim Fajardo explained their ‘chill’ practice session, saying the last thing the Lady Spikers want to do on the eve of the biggest game of their season was to put more pressure on themselves.
“Ang sarap, ang gaan, ang sarap ng feling na ganoon,” the fourth-year setter told SPIN.ph at the end of practice. “Oo, sabihin na natin championship na bukas pero hindi mo pine-pressure ang sarili mo, parang laro ka lang.
“Eh kapag naglaro ka lang, nag-enjoy ka lang, susunod na lang ang laro mo. Mas mape-pressure ka kasi kapag tight ka,”she added.
But the relaxed mood doesn't mean the Lady Spikers are dropping their guard. Fajardo, adjudged the league's best setter this season, said La Salle fully appreciates the magnitude of Wednesday's Game Two.
The Lady Spikers, in fact, are very much motivated to regain lost glory.
“Uhaw na uhaw kami sa panalong ‘yun eh, ang tagal naming hinintay ‘to,” said Fajardo. “And ngayon nandito na naman kami ulit and siguro hindi na namin ‘to papalagpasin kasi makikita mo naman sa kanila (teammates ko) eh kung ano talaga ang gusto nilang makuha ngayong taon na ito.”
Not trying to sound overconfident, the veteran playmaker feels that this is their time.
“Na-fi-feel ko sa sarili ko na, makikita mo sa teammates ko na sobrang nage-enjoy, kung ako ikaw, kung nasa loob ka ng court, mararamdaman mo na atin ‘to, hindi ko na ‘to bibitawan,” she said.