JANINE Balcorta knew that soon enough, her time will come.
But even she was caught off guard when coach Kungfu Reyes called her number in Game Three of the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball Finals Saturday.
Surprised as she may be, she knew her coach tapped her for a reason. But she has no other choice but to perform at her best.
"Alam ko naman na hindi ako masyadong ginagamit, pero sabi ko sa teammates ko na pag kailangan nila akong gamitin, babawi ako para sa kanila," said the rookie middle blocker out of St. Paul College of Paranaque.
Balcorta hasn't played since University of Santo Tomas' straight-sets win over UE last April 6, but though she rode the pine for the latter part of the season, she just kept her faith and prepared herself whenever her number is called.
That came on Saturday.
Balcorta scored five points in the affair as she was the "magic bunot" Reyes had in his bag.
Unfortunately, her shock entry was not enough as UST lost Game Three to Ateneo, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22.
Defeated as the Golden Tigresses may have been, this only serves as a motivation for them to continue working hard, all in hopes of finally bringing the crown back to Espana next season.
"Syempre hindi ganun ganun lang makukuha yan. Paghihirapan namin yan kaya babalik kami ng training agad," said Balcorta.
And the 19-year-old hopes that the massive crowd which made their presence felt in the Finals will be there again as UST looks to make another go-round next year.
"Alam natin na maraming fans ang UST at maraming nagmamahal sa UST. Naging life namin sila kaya para sa kanila, kayang kaya namin ito next season," she said.