BACK-to-back defending champion La Salle remains the heavy favorites to complete a threepeat in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament even without seasoned setter Kim Fajardo.
Despite the big hole left by Fajardo, the Taft-based squad still has veterans Kim Dy, Majoy Baron, Des Cheng and Dawn Macandili to take charge.
“Okay naman po. Siyempre malaking adjustment 'yung gagawin namin since wala si Ate Kim. Pero I think mako-compensate naman namin 'yung nawala,” said Baron, this year’s team captain.
“Ayun, so now that we're the seniors, siyempre kailangan kami 'yung inside the court, we have to be the last one to give up,” added Dy.
Although 10-time UAAP champion coach Ramil de Jesus refused to be interviewed, he sure has something up his sleeve and the players have full trust on his tactics.
Michelle Cobb, the sophomore setter, might be subject to some pressure as Fajardo’s replacement. But her veteran teammates vow to have her back.
“For us, siyempre kami 'yung mas experienced players, so kami 'yung talagang tumutulong sa kanya inside the court,” said Baron.
“Kung paano namin siya imo-motivate, paano namin siya tutulungan, paano namin ishe-share din 'yung knowledge namin inside the court,” she added.
For Dy and Macandili, they keep on reminding Cobb to just be herself and not to try copying Fajardo.
They know that Cobb has her own style and strengths as a facilitator inside the court.
“I actually told her na her style of playing is different from Ate Kim. So we don't necessarily want her to be exactly like Ate Kim,” said Dy.
“She has her own strength, her own weaknesses, Ate Kim has her own strength, her own weaknesses,” she added.
“It's good that you learn something from Ate Kim and from the other setters that you look up to, pero in the end, ikaw pa rin ang gagawa ng sarili mong pangalan and sarili mong technique as a setter,” said Macandili.