IT’S rare for a setter to finish with double digits in points as they are in charge in distributing the offensive loads to their spikers.
But FEU team captain and playmaker Kyle Negrito did it twice in a row — both games that mattered most — to lead the Lady Tamaraws back in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Finals for the second straight year.
Negrito was the key in the Lady Tams’ series comeback over semifinals foes UST Tigresses as she scattered great set plays and also helped her team in scoring in Games 2 and 3, when their backs were against the walls.
FEU’s team captain delivered 22 excellent sets and nailed 12 points off five attacks, four blocks and three service aces helping the Lady Tams in eliminating the Tigresses, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17, in their do-or-die semis Game 3 on Sunday at the Arena in San Juan City.
Negrito, who also had 12 points built on eight aces, three attacks and one block including 25 excellent sets in their huge Game 2 win on Saturday, said that adding the spiking to her arsenal boosts her confidence.
“Siyempre, hindi naman ako nagi-spike. Para sa akin, pag nakakapoint ako, 'yun 'yung nagiging morale-booster ko,” she said. “Ang sarap sa feeling kapag nakakatulong ka sa team mo. Sinasabi ko lang sa sarili ko na tatrabahuhin ko 'yung mga kaya kong itulong sa team.”
And they were really eager to beat rival UST, which downed them twice in their last elimination game in Cagayan de Oro and the first game of the semifinals.
“Before pa kasi noong Game One, sila nakalaban namin. Ang sarap sa pakiramdam na nakabawi kami nitong mga most crucial na laban,” Negrito added.
The fifth-year setter said that it’s also time to step up for them seniors without pressuring themselves in filling in the legacy left by their former leader Bernadeth Pons.
“Oo kasi 'yung pagiging captain ko parang formality lang. So kaming nagtutulungan noong mga last playing year. Hindi naman namin tina-try punan 'yung gap na wala na si Pons. Ang amin lang, kung ano 'yung kami, 'yung papakita namin,” the 21-year-old said.
“Sabi namin na kaming mga fifth playing year na kailangan mapakita namin 'yung experience and mabigay na namin lahat. Kailangan panindigan namin 'yung pagiging veteran namin,” she added.
But the job is not yet done for Negrito and company, as she eyes to accomplish their unfinished business gunning to win the title, this time, against University of the Philippines in a best-of-three titular series starting on Sunday next week.
“This time, hindi na kami papayag na first runner-up lang. Pagte-trainingan namin nang maigi para makuha 'yun,” Negrito concluded.