EVEN Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro was surprised with the performance that Faith Nisperos had in the Blue Eagles' opener on Thursday.
"Twenty-four points ba yun?" Almandro asked as the sophomore spiker almost had a set for herself in this UAAP Season 84 debut against La Salle.
But it's just the kind of performance that Almadro expects from Nisperos, who is now counted on to lead Ateneo in its title retention bid.
"I’m happy kasi alam natin kagaya ko, iba yung standard na gusto ko kay Faith. I really want a higher standard for Faith, but with what she showed today, I know that she will be better in the next games. She just have to be consistent," he said.
"Her points do not matter, what’s more important is the totality of her game. Faith is a very talented player and at this point in time, we rely on her now."
Without familiar faces like Kat Tolentino, Ponggay Gaston, Jules Samonte, and Jho Maraguinot in Katipunan, the 22-year-old Nisperos carried the torch for Ateneo in a losing effort against La Salle in the Blue Eagles' season debut.
Nisperos showed immense maturity and proved early on that she is up to the task.
She understands that despite breakneck pace of the season, it is still a marathon and not a sprint, stressing that the Blue Eagles must learn from the loss to the Lady Spikers.
"We have to learn from this game, and of course, we have to be patient with each other because it’s been awhile since we last played,” said the former NU-Nazareth School standout. "We have to do things one at a time. We also have to move on, and prepare for our next game."
Lucky for Nisperos, her confidence is also buoyed by the trust by her teammates as she adapts to her newfound role as Ateneo's top gun.
"As coach O always said, I always have to do my role right and I don’t have to be perfect. I have my teammates to help me. We just have to do our roles,“ she said. "I don’t need to overthink. I have to prepare my game as well. Regardless of who is our opponent, we have to prepare as a team."
The Blue Eagles seek to bounce back this Saturday against the NU Lady Bulldogs.
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