UAAP Season 81: Hindi lang pang-NCAA ang laro ko -- Clemente

Mark Escarlote on Feb 16, 2019 09:39 PM
UAAP Season 81: Hindi lang pang-NCAA ang laro ko -- Clemente
Ipapakita ko na hindi lang pang-NCAA ang laro ko, hindi lang pang-UAAP ang laro ko talagang pam-pro na talaga -- Lourdes Clemente

During her four-year stay with University of Perpetual Help, Lourdes Clemente made a name for herself as one of the best middle blockers to come out of the NCAA.

Her storied career in the oldest collegiate league in the country is laced with numerous individual accolades and even earned her a spot once in the national team.

Now the 6-foot-2 veteran steps into a different battlefront, hoping to make the same impact for De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.

Expectations are high for the transferee – a one-and-done player who earned her green and white jersey after pursuing her graduate studies at the Taft-based school.  

Clemente was tapped to fill in the void at the middle left by former Most Valuable Player Majoy Baron as the Lady Spikers aim to write history with a four-peat.

She’s up to the task and the challenge given to her by multi-titled mentor Ramil De Jesus.

“Sa akin sa part ko super pressured kasi ‘yung taong pinalitan ko ang daming (recognition) MVP, Best middle blocker, parang Majoy Baron top siya sa lahat ng middle blockers sa UAAP so para sa akin kailangan ibigay ko rin ang ibinigay niya,” said Clemente, who is pursuing her dream to win a collegiate title. “Para sa akin medyo nahihirapan ako pero siyempre ginusto ko ito eh. Kung ano ang gusto nila coach ibibigay ko sa training at sa game.”

Baron on her final year averaged 12.2 points per game, DLSU’s second leading scorer in the Lady Spikers’ third grand slam in two decades behind Kim Kianna Dy (13.3), who also exhausted all her playing years.

Clemente in her last season with the Lady Altas normed 13 points per match.   

“Sa La Salle talagang big role talaga eh. Talagang medyo mataas ang (expectations) sa akin na maibigay ko ang hinihingi nila eh. Yung expectations nila super laki. Kasi ‘yung sinasabi nila na ‘yung exposure ko, na graduate na ako, na dapat ang laro ko ngayon hindi na pang college, pam-pro na dapat,” said Clemente. “Sa adjustment binibilisan ko na talaga ang adjustment sa training. Talagang nago-all out ako every training, nagdo-double time ako after training para lang makahabol ako, mahabol ang system.”

The towering volleybelle, who was part of the national team that participated in the AVC Asian Women‘s Seniors Championship, hopes that her experience playing in the NCAA and in the club league will give her an advantage against her competitions.

“Sa akin maraming nagsasabi na ang UAAP at NCAA napakalaki ng difference like mahina raw sa NC, sa UAAP raw malakas. Para sa akin siguro na 50-50 na hindi man kalakasan (ang NCAA) pero para sa akin ipapakita ko na hindi lang pang-NCAA ang laro ko, hindi lang pang-UAAP ang laro ko talagang pam-pro na talaga,” she said. “Kung ano ang natutunan ko sa mga company ko na nalaruan noon, ia-apply ko sa UAAP.”

Clemente played for Perpetual for four years and is ineligible to continue her NCAA career after graduating from her course. NCAA rules do not allow players who completed their academic degrees to extend their playing eligibility to a fifth year through graduate studies.

UAAP allows this setup and in the case of Clemente, who is a non-UAAP team transferee, the residency rule does not apply.         

 

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