UAAP VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bernadeth Pons of FEU
Bernadeth Pons of FEU is the hands down choice as UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week.
Bernadeth Pons is making the most out of her final year with the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
The graduating hitter towed the Morayta-based squad to a second spot finish after the eliminations and helped the Lady Tamaraws clinch the much-needed twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.
Her heroics in the last two matches of FEU gave her the thumbs up to claim her second straight UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week honor.
Like what she promised last week, Pons was at the helm of FEU’s successful run to bag the semis incentive – the Lady Tams’ first since Season 71.
The 21-year old spiker, who hails from Talisay, Negros Occidental, stepped up when it mattered most as FEU closed the elims with a 10-4 win-loss record and most importantly the Lady Tams armed themselves with a twice-to-beat edge over third running Ateneo de Manila University in the semis next week.
The do-it-all outside hitter delivered 13 points and added 13 digs and as many as excellent receptions in making a quick work of University of the East, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, last Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
She followed it up with a 17-point, 16-reception performance in beating National University, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-20, to clinch the No.2 spot on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Masaya kami na natapos namin yung second round, na naipanalo namin ang last three games namin,” said Pons. “Ang pressure palagi namang nand'yan, palagi naman naming nire-remind ang bawat isa na hindi namin siya dapat i-take as pressure, kasi lalo lang kaming mawawala sa kung ano ang dapat naming gawin.”
“So tsina-challenge namin palagi nag sarili namin, kung ano 'yung mga dapat naming gawin, kung ano ang role namin sa team, 'yun,” she added.
Pons bested De La Salle’s Kianna Dy and Michelle Cobb, Adamson’s graduating players Mylene Paat and Jema Galanza as well as Tots Carlos of University of the Philippines for the last weekly honor given by sportswriters from broadsheets, tabloids and online websites covering the beat.
Pons’ performance in the elims also gave her a good chance to vie for the coveted Most Valuable Player plum.
She finished fourth in the scoring race with a total of 215 points, eighth in attacjs with 198 kills on 30.6 percent success rate and third both in digs (208 digs) and receptions (170 receptions on 45.2 % efficiency rate.
But Pons is looking at the bigger picture than individual accolades.
“‘Yung mga individual awards naman bonus na lang ‘yun. Ako palagi lang akong nagfofocus kung ano ‘yung dapat kong ibigay na maitutulong ko sa team, kung ano ‘yung kailangan ko ma-perform as a team captain and as a senior,” said Pons, who is hoping help end a decade-long title drought of FEU and deliver the school’s 30th crown. “‘Yung target naman namin is ‘yung trophy ng champion. ‘Yun ang pinakagusto naming makuha.”