Agony in practice turned into redemption on the court for Dimdim Pacres

Following UST’s heartbreaking five-set loss to Ateneo in round two of the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball tournament Wednesday last week, the spotlight—not of the good kind—was directed at spiker Dimdim Pacres during the squad’s Thursday training.

And deservedly so.

While Sisi Rondina matched the UAAP record for most points scored in a single game with 35 points and Eya Laure produced 21 big markers, Pacres, who finished with a measly nine points, failed to deliver the support needed from the right wing as the Lady Eagles put up walls to foil her attacks.

“Nung Ateneo game, block-block-an ako. Instruction nila coach cross na atake eh ako talaga hirap ako sa sharp cross,” recalled the Cebuana.

This prompted UST’s coaching staff, led by main mentor Kung Fu Reyes, to push the opposite hitter to her limits the next day in hopes of bringing out the best in her in their succeeding games.

Pacres revealed there were tears involved.

“Nung training, mag-isa lang ako for 30 minutes. Pinapa-practice sa akin ni coach Kung Fu (Reyes) ‘yung cross hanggang umiyak na ako sa sobrang frustration ko. First time ko maiyak sa training sa ilang taon kong naglalaro. Hindi ko kasi makuha,” shared the southpaw.

However, according to UST assistant coach Yani Fernandez, it took an hour or so for Pacres to evade the blockers they’ve set up for her in practice.

And it did not end with offensive drills for on the next day, Pacres was once again the center of attention as she went through a one-man session for defense.

“During nung paluan, hindi ako napagod. Gusto ko pa nga kasi hindi pa ako satisfied. Nung natapos, grabe ‘yung pagod ko,” she said of Wednesday’s tough training. “Tapos kinabukasan, one-man na naman ulit ako sa defense ko naman dahil nung nag scrimmage kami, ang dami kong bola na hindi nakuha.”

The next time Pacres stepped on the UAAP court, Pacres’ hard work was evident as she ably escaped or shattered the net defense of the Adamson Lady Falcons while also contributing good numbers in defense.

In the three-set victory Wednesday, the Tigress was the third-best scorer for UST tallying 12 points with 12 excellent digs to boot.

“Sobrang worth it ‘yung pagod. Gusto ko din ‘yung ganun na pinupukpok ako para pagdating sa game ma-apply ko siya,” she said.

UST will face the defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers on March 31 (Sunday), 4PM, at the Mall of Asia Arena. The winner of which will move to solo second place.