By Lance Agcaoili
BERNADETH Pons is hoping for the best when the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws begin their lives without her for the first time in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Collegiate Conference.
The Lady Tamaraws will be playing for the first time without Pons on Sunday when they face College of Saint Benilde at 4 p.m. to kick off their campaign.
Pons, the star open spiker who steered FEU to two silver medals in the PVL and UAAP Season 80, respectively, will not be providing her tremendous talent on the offensive and defensive ends as well as her inspiring leadership to the Lady Tams anymore as she already accomplished her five playing years.
“Manonood ako pero weird ‘yung feeling kasi parang dati kasama ko sila sa loob tapos bukas papanoorin ko na lang sila,” the all-around hitter said.
Aside from Pons, the Lady Tams will miss opposite spiker Toni Rose Basas as she continues to recover from an ear infection, leaving FEU Head Coach George Pascua relying on holdovers Heather Guino-o, Jerrili Malabanan, Celine Domingo, Carly Hernandez, Czarina Carandang, and setter Kyle Negrito.
As she gives her moral support to the Lady Tams, Pons, the former FEU skipper, wants her teammates to move forward and keep living up to their battle cry, “Be Brave.”
“Syempre yung advice ko lang sa kanila palagi nilang laruin ‘yung best nila ilabas nila yung kung anong laro nila at wag na wag silang matatakot tiwala naman ako sa kanila na kayang kaya nila,” she said.
Now a Petron Blaze Spiker seeking to deliver the franchise’s fifth overall title in the Philippine Superliga Invitational Finals against F2 Logistics, Pons admitted that she still misses college life.
“Ang hirap din iwanan ng FEU at UAAP kasi doon ako nag-start, doon ako nakilala pero syempre hanggang five years tayo,” the Negros Occidental native said. “So ngayon PSL na lang ‘yung focus ko syempre mamimiss ko pa rin yung UAAP kasi iba pa rin yung labanan doon.”
“Dito naman puro beterano na mga kalaban so sobrang madaming matutunan. Dito marami akong kailangan pa idagdag sa kung ano ‘yung mga kailangan ko pa i-improve,” she concluded.