Though UST’s final line-up for the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball tournament is yet to be announced, it is highly likely that spiker Dimdim Pacres will make the cut.
With Tin Francisco out of commission due to a torn ACL, lefty Caitlyn Viray will be utilized as the squad’s first middle blocker, leaving the second opposite spiker position to Pacres.
Looking back, the Cebuana says the journey to earning a spot in the 14-woman roster has not been easy.
“Napaganda ‘yung pagsali ko sa Tacloban last year kasi kahit papaano, nakabawi ba ako kasi alam ko naman sa sarili ko na hindi maganda ‘yung naging performance ko nung Season 80,” she said about her 2018 stints in the PVL and the UAAP.
While she showcased maturity and sheer power during her turn as a Fighting Waray for the late Ness Pamilar last year, Pacres’ Season 80 performance was underwhelming to say the least.
As the Tigresses suffered blow after blow no thanks to injuries incurred by EJ Laure, Milena Alessandrini and Rica Rivera, Pacres failed to show up and help batchmate Cherry Ann Rondina lift the squad, causing them to finish in seventh place.
This, she says, is her inspiration to work on her consistency as they head to the collegiate wars anew this month.
“Gusto ko lang siguro ma-prove sa sarili ko na hindi ‘yun ang totoong laro ko. Gusto kong bumawi para sa sarili ko, para sa team ko, and para sa UST,” said the fourth year player.
“Basta ang maipapangako ko ay I will do my best this season,” she added.
The great number eight
Pacres, however, may have to work on her redemption off the bench as rookie Eya Laure proved herself worthy as a starter on the right wing via her rousing showing in the PVL Collegiate Conference and the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam.
Another thing Pacres and Laure have in common? They both use the iconic jersey number eight that was once upon a time worn by the UST living legend Aiza Maizo-Pontillas.
Who gets to keep it? Pacres says she will give way.
“Si Eya ang gagamit ng jersey number eight. Give way ako kasi dati pa lang ‘yan na ang number ng jersey niya. Sa akin naman hindi big deal ang jersey number. Tsaka hindi naman talaga eight ang number ko,” said the veteran.
“Dati kasi ayaw pumayag ni Coach Kung Fu (Reyes) ng palit-palit ng jersey. Pero ang original jersey number ko talaga ay seven. Kaya ‘yun ang gagamitin ko this season,” she added.
The Tigresses will begin their UAAP Season 81 campaign on February 17 with a match against the Adamson University Lady Falcons at the Mall of Asia Arena.