PVL: Bersola, Tiamzon show ‘Atin ‘to’ version in semis win
Mark Escarlote on Nov 28, 2018 10:45 PM
Kathy Bersola (no. 2) and Nicole Tiamzon (no. 19) showed the way for BanKo in a five-set Game 1 win over Ateneo-Motolite in the PVL Season 2 Open Conference semifinals.
Nicole Tiamzon and Kathy Bersola need not look far for inspiration in BanKo’s best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference Final Four series opener against Ateneo-Motolite.
An hour before their match Wednesday night, the University of the Philippines products repeatedly peeked inside the pressroom of the FilOil Flying V Centre to take a glimpse at then ongoing UAAP basketball match.
It was the do-or-die Final Four duel between UP and Adamson for the right to face defending champion Ateneo de Manila University for the crown.
With time winding down, Paul Desiderio, the guard best known for coining the now UP mantra of ‘Atin ‘to’, delivered the winning basket in overtime as the Maroons marched into the Finals for the first time in 32 years.
Pity the duo didn’t get a chance to watch that winning moment for their alma mater albeit in the arena’s small and grainy TV set.
It was an inspiration, so to say, as the Perlas Spikers veterans made their own version of it in San Juan.
The duo played their hearts out especially in the deciding set to power BanKo to a marathon, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 15-6, victory to move a step closer for the clubs breakthrough championship round stint.
“Siyempre gusto talaga namin kunin ‘to eh. Di pa kami nakakapasok sa Finals before,” said Bersola, who together with Tiamzon tried to downplay the influence of the Maroons historic Finals appearance.
“Laro lang talaga. Gusto lang namin maglaro and siyempre manalo talaga not just for ourselves but for the team,” said Tiamzon.
Bersola and Tiamzon scored four points each in the BanKo’s blazing 13-5 burst that took the fight out of the Lady Eagles in the fifth set.
Tiamzon posted 25 points with 21 coming off attacks, while Bersola had 16 points, seven off kill blocks, to pace the Perlas Spikers, who reasserted their mastery over the Lady Eagles.
After a third place finish in the Reinforced Conference, BanKo is now knocking on the door of their first-ever Finals stint.
And they will not stop until they get it – may it be on Saturday in Game 2 or on Sunday in the decider, if necessary.
“Ito malaking chance namin ngayon, we’re here in this position,” said Bersola. “Kuha lang ng kuha. Laro lang ng laro hanggang sa makarating doon (sa Finals).”
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