WITH University of the Philippines enjoying four match points, 14-10, a desperate coach Norman Miguel pulled Bingle Landicho from the National University bench.
Suddenly finding herself in such a high-pressure situation, the 19-year-old open hitter admitted feeling the nerves as she tried to save the Lady Bulldogs' scalp.
"Actually, kabado talaga ako," she said. "Wala nang magagawa dahil crucial na po. Nasa isip ko lang noon, 'Laban lang. Kaya namin 'to.'"
What followed was a solid service job for Landicho, who showed admirable poise as NU strung up five straight points to spark a brave comeback.
That formed part of a 7-1 finishing kick that enabled the Lady Bulldogs to take the fifth set, 17-15, for just their second win in the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament.
"Tapang lang po at lakas lang ng loob," said Landicho, whose confidence got boosted by the encouraging words of team captain Roselyn Doria and the rest of the team.
"Sabi nila sa akin, tiwala lang sa sarili. Basta ipasok ko lang yung serve, papasa sila at papalo sila."
Landicho, whose nickname "Bingle" was given by her grandmother, was happy to be the sparkplug for NU in the win.
"Tanggap ko po yung ganoong role," she said. "Masaya po kasi pagpasok ko, parang nagbago yung game. Naghahabol kami noon tapos isang point na lang (ang kailangan) nung kalaban. Masaya po ako na ginanahan naman sila kahit papano pagpasok ko."