DENDEN Lazaro breached the pain barrier to become one of the key players in Ateneo’s run to its first-ever UAAP women’s volleyball crown.
The pretty Ateneo star said she had to take pain killers just to be able to play in the final two games of the finals against thrice-to-beat La Salle owing to a badly sprained ankle.
“From a scale of one to ten, ten being the most painful, eight,” said Lazaro when asked to describe the injury. “Pero last (game0 na ito, do-or-die na ito. Bahala na.”
Lazaro said she owed it to the team to play in the finals. She also hardly showed signs of the injury in those two games, displaying the form that won her the Best Receiver and Best Digger awards for the season.
With the help of Lazaro’s defense, the Lady Eagles won their first-ever UAAP women’s volleyball championship via a 25-23, 26-24, 25-21 sweep over De La Salle at the packed Mall of Asia Arena.
“Kapag sa training namin, sobrang patayan talaga. Iniisip ko na lang na ‘yung pinaghirapan ng team. Ang iniisip lang namin, pinaghirapan namin ito,” said Lazaro.
Lazaro admitted she didn’t expect a three-set sweep of the three-time champion La Salle in the finale.
“Knowing La Salle, three-time defending champion, lalaban at lalaban ‘yan. Naghanda lang kami for that,” said Lazaro, adding she never doubted an Ateneo victory.
“For this team, hindi na namin iniisip na twice kami natalo sa championship. Ang iniisip lang namin, pinaghirapan namin ito. Let’s get this and may reward ‘yung pinaghirapan namin,” said Lazaro.