Tinry ko i-beast mode 'yung last few points -- Bersola

Mark Escarlote on Apr 06, 2017 09:43 AM
Tinry ko i-beast mode 'yung last few points -- Bersola
I was just thinking na, 'No, no, not today, not today' -- Kathy Bersola

Kathy Bersola recalled what she told her teammates before the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons marched in their do-or-die battle against Far Eastern University with their season on the line.   

“Sabi ko lang sa kanila na, 'Guys, I don't want this to be my last game. Alam niyo 'yan, mahal na mahal ko kayo. Sa limang taon ko sa UP, kayo lang ang pinagtuunan ko ng atensyon, pansin, pagmamahal. Kayo lang talaga. Five years, kayo at ang acads, wala ng iba. Kaya please, I don't want this to be my last game.'”

But fate wrote a different script.

The first two sets were easily taken by the Lady Tamaraws. The third became a mad dash to claim the set.

Bersola saw her team on the brink of collapse, 21-24, after hard-hitting spiker FEU spiker Bernadeth Pons nailed a point. The fifth year middle tried to bring her team back to life after a quick drop to save a match point.

Another graduating player Nicole Tiamzon broke the Lady Tams’ defensive wall for another UP point before Bersola tied the count at 24 as UP faithful inside the FilOil Flying V Centre began to cheer loudly when they felt some sense of hope in their flickering 79th UAAP women’s volleyball campaign.

“I was just thinking na, 'No, no, not today, not today,'” Bersola said. “Tinry ko talagang i-beast mode yung last few points.”

Lady Maroons setter Ayel Estranero threw a point at the service line in the next play but UP got a break with an FEU miscue that tied the count at 25.

The Lady Maroons were called for an error in the next play. Bersola knew her five-year career will end if they can’t take the point back.

Tiamzon soared for an attack, another equalizer for UP.

But the fifth saved match point never came as officials flagged Tiamzon with a net touch when she pounded an attack.

The scoreboard showed the painful result: 25-16, 25-16, 25-27.

FEU advanced to the Final Four with an 8-6 record. UP’s journey ended with a 7-7 card.

Bersola logged in seven points in her final game.             

“I was really disappointed noong huling point kasi nga, bad call. Pero wala nang magagawa, yun na yun. Parang medyo siyempre ang hirap tanggapin,” said the Season 76 Best Blocker, whose eyes showed traces of shedding tears.

“What was running through my mind? Actually, nagtanong pa ako sa referee noong last point, sabi niya, net daw talaga. Biglang nag-flash back ‘yung first UAAP game. Parang namatay, ganoon. 'Di joke lang, basta 'yun,” added Bersola mustering a laugh to hide the pain.

UP fell short of its goal of again making it to the Final Four after breaking a 13-year semis drought last season.

Bersola, whose Season 77 campaign came to an abrupt end after suffering a knee injury midway in the season, remembered a promise she did five years ago.

“Actually, pagpasok ko ng UP, unang-unang sinabi ko na bago ako umalis dito, magkaka-championship ako. 'Yun ang sabi ko talaga, kahit na hindi ako marunong noong pumasok ako, sabi ko talaga, basta some way magkaka-championship ako bago ako umalis ng UP. And, it wasn't really connected to ‘yung standing ng team noong time na ‘yun. It was more of how competitive I was,” she said. “Parang somehow, somehow talaga, gagawin ko yun, pero ayan na, tapos na, wala na. Okay lang.”

Bersola may have failed to realize her dream when she entered the Diliman-based squad but she did her best up until the last moments of her collegiate career to try to achieve it.




Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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