LYCHA Ebon has shied away from comparisons to Bernadeth Pons and in her UAAP debut, the Far Eastern University rookie again had to wave off talk about taking the role of Lady Tamaraws leader.
Wearing Pons’ jersey No. 2, Ebon’s every move was watched closely by the FEU faithful. But Ebon noted it was not her choice and that she had always worn No. 7, which has been assigned to Elize Ronquillo for the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
The 5-foot-8 opposite spiker from Davao National High School added that she would like to be known for her own game, and she has Pons’ full support.
“Sabi naman ni Ate Pons, 'Number lang 'yan eh.' 'Yun na lang ang pinapanghawakan ko,” the 19-year-old said.
“Hindi ko na mina-mind ang sinasabi ng mga tao. Hindi naman nila alam ang sa side namin talaga.”
But sportswriters suggested Ebon could fill the void left by Pons, and coach George Pascua agreed.
“Possible, kasi 'yung pwesto ni Lycha, kahit papaano na-manage naman. Kumbaga, 'yung adjustment, very minimal na lang,” Pascua said.
In her UAAP debut, Ebon scored 13 huge points as the Lady Tamaraws overcame a young NU Lady Bulldogs squad in four sets.
Lady Tamaraws skipper Jerrili Malabanan was all praises for Ebon.
“I'm proud of the way my teammates performed, especially Lycha. It was her first game, and she didn't play like a rookie today,” Malabanan said.
Ebon said she was not focused on individual numbers.
“Hinko alam kung paano ko nagawa 'yun. Basta, nag-eenjoy lang din ako kanina eh,” Ebon said.
“Kinakabahan pero mas pinapalamang ko po 'yung excitement ko. Sinasabi ko lang sa sarili ko, kailangan hindi ko sayangin 'yung mga training. Ilang buwan naming pinaghandaan 'tong UAAP.”