Kailangan mag-level up siya -- FEU coach Pascua on Pons
(Dapat) mag-level up siya ulit, kasi ang laro namang ito para sa kanila eh, 'yung sa mga ga-graduate na -- FEU coach George Pascua on Bernadeth Pons' role this season
Hitter Bernadeth Pons has been a delivering on offense for the past four years for Far Eastern University.
A consistent scoring threat and a reliable piece on floor defense, Pons is undeniably the Lady Tamaraws’ do-it-all, go-to-player.
But in her last playing year with the Morayta-based squad, head coach George Pascua has one final request to his graduating ward come UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament: assume the leadership role left by Remy Palma last year.
Pons was also appointed as team captain of a Lady Tams squad hungry to reclaim the title they last held in 2008.
“Oo 'yun naman ang gusto ko sa kanya kasi siya 'yung captain ball, so gusto ko masanay din siya doon,” said Pascua of his 21-year old ward.
His appointment of Pons as skipper is both a challenge and a show of trust to the outgoing player. Pons is known for his offense and decent floor defense but is yet to prove her leadership skills especially after hiding behind the shadows of the more vocal Palma.
“Kasi si Pons, hindi ganoon (vocal) sa kasama before eh. Pero ngayon, nagbago na. Kasi dahil andun siguro si Remy. Ngayon, siya na 'yung nasa position ni Remy, nagagawa niya naman,” said Pascua.
Pons herself admitted that she’s still adjusting to her new role.
“Naga-adjust lang kami kasi ‘yung grumaduate sa amin na si Ate Rem and alam naman natin kung paano siya maglaro and yung angas niya inside the court na nakaka-boost din talaga ng morale ng bawat isa sa amin,” she said. “Konting adjustments lang naman and napag-adjustan naman namin.”
FEU parades a veteran and almost intact core with key holdovers Toni Basas, Jerrili Malabanan, Czarina Carandang, Jeannete Villareal and Kyla Atienza and the returning Rosemarie Vargas, who unfortunately will miss the first round due to an injury (muscle strain).
But Pascua is pinning his hopes on Pons to lead the team to a successful year.
“(Dapat) mag-level up siya ulit, kasi ang laro namang ito para sa kanila eh, 'yung sa mga ga-graduate na,” he said. “So sabi ko nga, magtulungan tayo. Ayusin mo 'yung mga kasama mo, team mo, tapos usap tayo, mag-plano tayo. Para sa inyo 'yung laban.”
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