Far Eastern University's Bernadeth Pons is determined to make the most out of her final playing year.
After another superb all-around performance that allowed the Lady Tamaraws to clinch a Final Four berth in the Season 80 women's volleyball tournament, Pons has earned the UAAP Player of the Week recognition.
She bested National University's Jaja Santiago, University of the Philippines' Tots Carlos, De La University's Kim Kianna Dy, and Ateneo de Manila University's Kat Tolentino for the weekly nod.
The FEU skipper, who averages 15.4 points per game, stands out because of her remarkable defensive skills on top of her scoring prowess. She ranks third in receiving (44.88 percent reception efficiency) and digging (3.84 digs per set), edging out all liberos in the league not named Kath Arado and Dawn Macandili.
In the Lady Tamaraws' five-set victory over the Adamson Lady Falcons last Saturday, Pons finished with stellar triple-double numbers of 22 points, 23 digs, and 24 excellent receptions.
"This is a huge factor to build the team's confidence," she said about the crucial win that secured them a ticket to the semifinals for the fourth year in a row.
Despite the guaranteed playoffs entry, the 21-year-old spiker is not yet satisfied with what her team has achieved.
Sporting an 8-4 record, FEU currently sits at the third spot behind De La Salle University (10-2) and Ateneo de Manila University (9-4). With two games remaining in the elimination round, the Lady Tamaraws are still in the hunt for a twice-to-beat bonus.
"Our target is number two. We need to sweep our remaining games to get the number two spot," said Pons, ahead of their closing matches against University of the East on Wednesday and National University on Sunday.
"This is my last chance. We really want to reach the finals but of course we want to get the twice-to-beat advantage first. It will be huge for the team," she added.
The graduating hitter hopes to end her collegiate career with a bang, but she knows that focusing on their ultimate goal of reaching the championship can be overwhelming. So instead of keeping their eyes on the prize, she wants her teammates to focus on what they need to do on the court.
"We just need to play our game, and the result will follow. We'll use it as an inspiration and motivation to achieve our goal, one set at a time," shared Pons.