INJURED rookie Lycha Ebon was an added inspiration to Far Eastern University in their pivotal five-set win over top rank and twice-to-beat Ateneo in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four.
Already out for the season with a knee injury, Ebon still suited up in the Final Four and joined her teammates at the sidelines to show her all-out support in the Lady Tamaraws’ daunting challenge against the Lady Eagles on Saturday at the MOA Arena.
“Siyempre para hindi mafeel nila ate na incomplete kami. Siyempre team kami dapat buo pa rin kami,” said the 19-year-old rookie.
“Sobrang proud ako kela ate kasi pinapakita nila sa natitirang games namin ngayon na kailangan namin manalo, kailangan namin makuha yung goal namin,” she added.
Graduating team captain Jerrili Malabanan said that Ebon’s presence also worked wonders for FEU as it forced a rubber match on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
“It gives us I guess more fight seeing she wants to help the team,” Malabanan said.
FEU head coach George Pascua shared that Ebon insisted to join her teammates at the bench instead of sitting at the crowd’s area.
“Gusto niya mangyari yun. Ayaw lang niyang nasa crowd siya, gusto niya nandoon siya sa team,” Pascua said.
Ebon already agreed with her coach Pascua in not risking her left knee injury, which she sustained in the fifth set of their first second round match against Adamson in Antipolo City.
“Desisyon ko po yun na di na maglaro tslaga. Siyempre hirap po kasi kung i-risk ko pa tong tuhod ko first year ko pa lang dito kaya napagdesisyunan ko na hindi na maglaro,” said the prized-recruit from Davao.
Pascua had the same sentiments and knows that the team could still go all the way without his top rookie like what they showed for the past matches beating De La Salle and Ateneo in back-to-back games.
“Si Lycha sabi kasi niya na gusto niya pero siyempre di ko naman siya iga-gamble,” Pascua said. “Nandoon naman ang mga Ates niya. Sabi ko magtiwala lang siya sa mga Ates niya pero gusto niya (maglaro).”