LYCHA Ebon soared high in her rookie year only to fall hard with a season-ending knee injury, but that won’t stop her from trying to reach new heights in UAAP Season 82.
What could have been a remarkable season for Ebon only lasted eight games as she awkwardly landed from a spike attempt in the Lady Tamaraws’ second-round match against Adamson Lady Falcons at Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
That devastating injury also stopped her from helping fulfill a fitting swan song promise to seniors Jerrili Malabanan, Heather Guino-o and Kyle Negrito, who ended their UAAP careers with a do-or-die semifinals defeat to Ateneo.
“Last year hindi ko natupad pero sabi nila wag mong sisihin yung sarili mo bumawi ka na lang this season,” said Ebon, who was FEU’s leading scorer, averaging 14.3 points in the first eight games.
Almost a year after the injury, the prized recruit from Davao is fit to play again and ready to help a new set of graduating players, bannered by team captain Angel Cayuna and libero Buding Duremdes.
“So ngayon na nakakabalik na ko dinededicate ko itong season ulit na to sa mga seniors namin. Gusto ko silang tulungan sa loob ng court,“ she said.
Ebon admitted that the injury left a fear that haunted her in an eight-month recovery, which was full of ups and downs.
“Sa eight months na 'yun, hindi po madali. Sobrang may ups and downs po ako na sa eight months na 'yun, 'yung therapy ko akala ko andoon na ako pero biglang may sumakit, gan'un lang baba na ulit,” the young wing hitter said.
Thanks to head coach George Pascua and her teammates, who didn’t stop encouraging the incoming sophomore spiker.
“Sabi nila coach na okay na tuhod ko, 'yung problema nalang 'yung utak, psychological ano gan'un. Tapos sabi nila, 'walain mo na 'yan, kaya na 'yan',” Ebon said. “Inuulit ni coach 'yun na, 'wala kang injury, 'di ka na injured' para lumabas 'yung laro ko talaga.“
“Sinasabi nila coach na hindi sila nageexpect sayo na makakabalik ka agad ng laro mo last season. Ang gusto nila sakin makatulong sa kanila, tinutulungan ko din yung sarili ko na makabalik and walang iniisip na injury,” she added.
With the help of the whole team, Ebon is taking her injury as a minor setback and now she is ready to make a major comeback and complete her unfinished business for FEU.
“Inisip ko nalang na ba't ko sasayangin. Kaya ngayon na okay na ako, siyempre all out ako. Kailangan hindi ako magiging rason ng pagkatalo ng team,” Ebon said. “Siyempre, second year palang ako, ilang taon pa ko maglalaro ng UAAP kaya kailangan ngayon palang, pina-practice ko na sarili na iniisip ko na hindi ako na-injure.”