PVL: Adamson libero endeared herself to fans

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 16, 2018 04:49 PM
PVL: Adamson libero endeared herself to fans
Four Lady Falcons were among seven players who received special awards at the conclusion of the PVL Season 2 Collegiate Conference on Sept. 12. They are Bernadette Flora (2nd Best Outside Spiker), Eli Soyud (Best Opposite Spiker), Mary Jane Igao (Best Setter), and Tonnie Rose Ponce (Best Libero). Flanking them are MVP, Best Open Spiker and Finals MVP Isa Molde of UP (extreme left) and 2nd Best Middle Blocker Aiesha Gannaban also of UP. Not in photo is 1st Best Middle Blocker Celine Domingo of FEU.

The smallest of the Adamson University Lady Falcons is the noisiest on the court.     

In a voice that carried clearly over the 5,000-seat Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City, petite Tonnie Rose Ponce screamed in delight in celebration of every point scored by her teammates in the just-concluded Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference.

When a PVL staff member poked his head into coach Airess Padda’s players’ locker room to tell Bernadette Flora, Eli Soyud and Mary Jane Igao to please join the awarding of individual awards just before Game 2 of their best-of-three, bronze-medal series with the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses, Ponce cheered the loudest.

She turned quiet as she was last asked to join the awardees. Her teammates cheered her but not as loudly as when she did for the other three awardees from her team, a testament of her powerful lung power.

Ponce was a delight to watch with her superb digging and receiving skills – and equally so with her booming voice on the court.    

Even before the awards were handed out, a group of fans of Alyssa Valdez, around to root for eventual champion University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, already knew in their hearts who the best libero would be. They, too, were won over by Ponce, who took it upon herself to rally her teammates when the chips were down.     

And so after Flora (2nd Best Outside Spiker), Soyud (Best Opposite Spiker) and Igao (Best Setter) received their special awards, the Arena exploded in deafening cheers as Ponce collected hers.    

“Doesn’t it say much of the coach when her players garnered four of the seven individual awards?” a sportswriter asked of Padda. 

“It says much of the whole coaching staff,” she quickly replied. “I’m especially proud of these four girls of mine in distinguishing themselves. They trained hard to make the team better and in so doing made themselves stand out.” 

Beaten in five sets in Game One of their separate playoff with the Tigresses, the Lady Falcons turned the tables on their opponents in four sets in the next game to claim the bronze medal via a higher quotient.

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