Kim Fajardo: Fearless in her last set

Mark Escarlote on Feb 03, 2017 01:59 PM
Kim Fajardo: Fearless in her last set
Ayaw kong magsisisi ako. Kasi alam ko naman na may chance pa ako, may time pa ako para maglaro sa UAAP. Kasi hindi naman ito ‘yung anytime, puwede ka sumali sa UAAP. Hindi naman ganun. Once in a lifetime ito, five years, so tatapusin ko ito -- Kim Fajardo

Many are wondering why it took Kim Fajardo that long to commit to De La Salle University for her last playing year.

Since leading La Salle back on the women's volleyball throne in UAAP Season 78, Fajardo was mum if she’ll use her last eligibility year or forego it to concentrate in the semi-pro league.

Her teammates especially Kim Dy with the backing of the Lady Spikers faithful all wanted her for a last dance in Season 79.

The soft-spoken Fajardo explained that it was actually an easy decision to come back.

It just took a while for her to break her silence because she was juggling lot of things – a stint in the Philippine Superliga, realizing her dream of playing in the world stage as a member of PSL-F2 Logistics Manila that participated in the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship and competing in the UAAP beach volleyball.

The reigning Best Setter wanted to finish all her previous commitments first.

She just waited for the right time to announce her return – when she’s already fully committed and 100% focused to give it all in her collegiate indoor volleyball swan song.  

“Hindi siya ganun kahirap,” said Fajardo during the team’s UAAP OBB shoot at ABS-CBN. “Tumagal siya kasi ayokong mag-commit ng hindi 100%.”

“Kasi siyempre, marami akong ginagawa,” Fajardo further explained in an almost whispering voice. “After ng UAAP, tinatanong na ako kaagad. The day after the championship di ba? Tinatanong na ako kaagad. Eh after nu'n, may PSL. Tapos after noon, may worlds, beach volley, tapos PSL ulit. So andami kong iniisip. Ayoko naman ma mag-training sa kanila, mag-commit sa kanila ng ganoon. Kasi kung magt-training ako sa kanila, tapos train pa ako (sa iba), di ba sabog ang mangyayari? Ang daming (iba pang ginagawa). So ngayon, December, doon ako nakapag-decide talaga na okay, tapos na lahat, isipin ko na to. Okay, kaya. Sige, bakit hindi.”

Fajardo, though reluctant at first, is now the sole on-court leader of a very young team looking to extend its reign in a predictably unpredictable field.  

Season 79 has at least six legitimate contenders while last year’s lower two teams are no pushovers and are very capable of pulling painful upsets.

The exact reason why DLSU needs a Kim Fajardo.

The Taft-based squad needs its ‘KAFtain’ to steer the ship in the right direction after the departure of five seniors including last year’s ‘Big Three’ in Ara Galang, Mika Reyes and Cyd Demecillo.

That trust and faith of the team in her motivates Fajardo even more.

“At first s’yempre, pag narinig mo na namo-motivate (sila), syempre mape-pressure ka. Pero pag inisip mo talaga, even though mga bata sila, doon ka rin huhugot eh. Kasi alam mong kailangan ka nila,” said Fajardo, who averaged 9.18 excellent sets last season. “’Yun ang nangyayari sa akin, binabaliktad ko yung sinasabi nila na (pressure), kasi totoo naman eh, sa kanila rin ako huhugot eh. Wala talagang iba.”

With only a handful of its main championship core that gave DLSU its ninth title returning which includes Finals Most Valuable Player Dy and top libero Dawn Macandili, Fajardo is managing her expectations.

She is just taking it one game at a time and from there will just see where it goes.

“Ako kasi, nag-decide ako to play, siguro bonus na lang kung makuha namin ang championship. Pero ang main goal ko ngayon, makatulong. Eventually naman, pag nandun na sa league, pag natutulungan mo ‘yung team mo, ibig sabihin maia-angat mo rin ‘yung sa kanila kasi ako, matanda na ako dito sa team,” she said. “Sana, ma-share ko ‘yung talent ko sa mga maiiwan, hindi lang siguro sa loob ng court. Gusto kong maka-set ng example sa kanila. Gusto kong tumatak sa kanila.”

Marching on the stage in her final curtain call, Fajardo is fearless more than ever.

“Hindi ko worry ‘yun (na hindi mag-champion) Hindi ko worry ‘yun. Kasi nga, sinasabi ko. Bonus ‘yun, kung manalo ka,” Fajardo said. “Pero ‘yun nga, kasi ayokong magsisi sa huli, na hindi ko natapos ‘yung (playing years) ko tapos siguro, mga tapos ng, after two years, one year, mami-miss ko bigla, na sayang hindi ako nakalaro ng last playing year ko?”

“Ayaw kong magsisisi ako. Kasi alam ko naman na may chance pa ako, may time pa ako para maglaro sa UAAP,” she continued. “Kasi hindi naman ito ‘yung anytime, puwede ka sumali sa UAAP. Hindi naman ganun. Once in a lifetime ito, five years, so tatapusin ko ito.”

She is ready to take her final bow with or without a crown on her head.

What is important for Fajardo is how she’ll write the last chapter of her colorful collegiate career.

Catch the UAAP Season 79 women's volleyball tournament starting February 4, Saturday live on S+A, S+A HD channel 166 and via livestream.

  

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