ANOTHER super rookie is on the rise for University of Santo Tomas as Imee Hernandez has been tremendous so far in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3.
Hernandez showed maturity beyond years as she delivered the big blows in the fifth set to lift UST in denying College of Saint Benilde’s comeback, 21-25, 25-22, 25-19, 24-26, 15-12, on Sunday at the Arena in San Juan City.
“Nagma-mature na siya. Ganito naman na siya, kailangan lang nito ang maturity. Na makikita nya na makikipagsabayan siya sa mga matatanda o kasing age niya,” said Tigresses head coach KungFu Reyes on the rookie out of UST high school.
“Ganito na to nu’ng high school pa lang. ‘Yung level ng laro siyempre itinataas and yung confidence level niya,” he added.
The 18-year-old rookie displayed nerves of steel in the fifth set, where she scored six of her 20 points nailing the clutch hits to keep UST unbeaten in two games for the share of Pool B lead with Arellano University.
Hernandez said that Reyes’s system since highschool made her mature enough as she enters the Collegiate stage.
“Yung programa po na ginagawa ni coach Kungfu, high school pa lang po ini-explain na nya sa akin kung ano po ang mangyayari pagdating sa college. Yung mga dapat kong i-expect kung naglalaro na,” she said.
Besides the rookie’s mastery of his system, Reyes gives credit to the senior EJ Laure and sophomores like KC Galdones, Rachelle Roldan and MaFe Galanza for leading the newcomers.
“Ang maganda kasi may kasama syang mas matanda sa kanya na kaya siyang i-compose, kaya siyang hatakin at kaya siyang i-guide,” the UST coach said. “Tapos magagaling na rin ang setter, may taga-depensa na rin siya so mas nakaka-focus na siya kung ano ang nasa harapan niya.“
The 5-foot-9 middle blocker graded herself 80 out of 100 as she acknowledges the things she has to improve on.
“Nasa 80, kasi marami pa pong dapat i-improve. Nakikita ko na rin ang sarili ko na nagma-mature na kahit papaano,” said the freshman tourism student. “Namo-motivate ako na every game kailangan maganda ang ipakita ko.”