UP's Kathy Bersola: A swan song for the books

Mark Escarlote on Jan 31, 2017 05:51 PM
UP's Kathy Bersola: A swan song for the books
I don't know about what everyone else thinks, but for me, it's now or never since it's my last year -- Kathy Bersola

Make or break.

For graduating University of the Philippines player Kathy Bersola, UAAP Season 79 is the year that will define her collegiate career.    

The middle blocker vows to give everything to bring glory to the Lady Maroons, who remain in search of a follow-up title after winning it all in Season 45.     

“I don't know about what everyone else thinks, but for me, it's now or never since it's my last year,” said Bersola, who is one of the three key graduating players together with hitter Nicole Tiamzon and libero Princess Gaiser.

After the departure of some key players in other teams including those from reigning champion De La Salle and Ateneo de Manila, Bersola boldly announced that they are looking to make this season the year of the Lady Maroons.

“So for me, it's my time, it's our time, the seniors. So ‘yun talaga, gagawan talaga namin ng paraan. Tatrabahuhin talaga namin, para maging kami naman, para maging turn namin,” she said. “But we have to work on it, hindi naman siya ibibigay ng iba, so we will make it our time.”

Much is expected from UP, which is parading an intact core with only Jewel Lai missing after the setter transferred to a different school after last season. The Diliman-based squad also had a long preparation for the tournament, joining different competitions including three stints in the V-League.

UP also trained in Japan early January while individually the players of coach Jerry Yee improved not only in skills but also in maturity making the Lady Maroons one of the top title contenders this season.    

“Well, alam naman namin sa sarili namin na ang expectations ng iba ay (mataas). Kami naman din kasi, may sarili kaming expectations, so kung ano man ‘yung expectations ng iba, medyo at par naman siya with what we expect from ourselves,” said the 20-year old Bersola. “So ayun, okay lang, tinatanggap lang namin and ginagawa naming inspiration lahat ng sinasabi ng mga tao sa amin.”

And they are looking to surpass their fourth place finish last year.

“Kasi ang goal naman namin always is to be better than our previous campaigns,” Bersola said.

The senior added that they know they have a big chance to accomplish that this year.

“Well, tina-try talaga namin na mag-level up noong offseason. Marami kaming ginawa. We focused on conditioning, we even went outside the country para mag-training and ayun, we spent most of the time together, halos every day kami nagte-training, pag minsan lang talaga kami nagbe-break,” she said. “And I think all these sacrifices and everything that we get, all the support that we get, makakatulong talaga siya sa pag-angat namin this season. Kung magagamit namin wisely yung experiences na na-gain namin from the past year.”

Personally for Bersola, who had to endure an early exit back in Season 77 because of a knee injury, she wants to make her last collegiate journey to be a memorable one.  

“The goal is to do my best in every game and not waste all the effort and all the years I've put into this,” Bersola said.




Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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