Ponggay Gaston: My faith in my teammates pushed me to give me my all
Ponggay Gaston as a starter in the second set was all the motivation she needed in order to display the best scoring performance of her college career.
Ateneo middle utility Ponggay Gaston said that her faith in her team pushed her to give it her all, helping her to contribute a career-high 10 points in their 19-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-12, 7-15 loss againt the NU Lady Bulldogs in their match at the FilOil Flying V Centre Wednesday.
Gaston, who was dubbed as the energizer of the team, said that the fact Coach Tai Bundit subbed her in as a starter in the second set was all the motivation she needed in order to display the best scoring performance of her college career.
"[E]ven if I made mistakes or even if like I’m not a starter, the fact that my coach wants to put me in, like I had to really show my best so I had to like mentally like psych myself not to panic or get too excited, just to give what I can. We’ve been training since like after UAAP," Gaston said after the game.
Ateneo looked unstoppable in the third and fourth sets, forcing NU to a fifth and deciding set. During that run, Gaston was at the forefront of the Lady Eagle blitz, as the girls suddenly played with vengeance in her eyes, coupled with unforced errors from the opposing side.
"[I]n the 3rd and 4th set it was like we had no fear. We just said that ‘let’s do our best, let’s give our all’ and you can see it in each player, you can see that if someone made a mistake, or even if one of us was panicking, we were all together."
However, when the game-clinching set rolled along, Ateneo was nowhere to be found, as NU banked in on Jasmine Nabor's clutch play to give the Lady Bulldogs their second straight win of the season.
"The energy of team was like 'We had no fear' like we just kept going, there was no like in the 5th set, I could feel like there was bit of tension," the former UST high standout lamented.
As last year's runner-ups just had their worst start since Season 70, the girls are expecting to put up a fight against the UST Golden Tigresses on Sunday,
"I think what everyone should expect from that this game will be is that it will be another 5 setter. We’re not going to come down without a fight. We have to give our best like hindi pwede na papasok sa game lang na half-hearted. We’re gonna do our best in each game whether our kalaban is UST or NU, FEU, we had to give our all."
The 20-year old added that she fulfilled her mission for the team, when she and a couple of subs came along and entered the game, the Lady Eagles suddenly turned from looking dead in the water to making the comeback win.
"Because if you’re happy, you change the way you play. If you’re too serious, or if you make a mistake, it can affect your team because it’s not a solo game you know. If one person can change it, if one person makes a mistake, then everyone makes a mistake. So it’s like if I could just make the team happy, that’s what I can do whether I’m on the bench or on the court. "
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