Pam Lastimosa and University of Santo Tomas (UST) have formally reached the Final Four of the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
But the mission isn’t over.
After sustaining an excruciating injury that sidelined her last season, Lastimosa returned for her final playing year in a bid to tow the Tigresses to their 16th title in this prestigious collegiate league.
It, however, won’t be a walk in the park.
The Tigresses have to overcome reigning champion La Salle, which is armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four this Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to make it to the finals.
On the other hand, the 23-year old Cagayan de Oro-native would need to help captain Sisi Rondina and EJ Laure in leading the assault for the Tigresses.
Lastimosa has what it takes to serve as one of the secret weapons of disciplinarian mentor Kungfu Reyes.
But she would need to shrug a psychological battle due to such painful injury to be effective for UST.
Lastimosa said she’s up for the challenge.
“Pero it’s more of mental battle eh kasi mayroon pa rin akong doubt sa sarili ko and kailangan ko pang pagtrabahuan kung paano ko maibabalik ang confidence ko.”
Reyes is no stranger to Lastimosa’s health condition.
But he is not giving up on her.
He knows that she could bring her spunk and grit back that fire up Lastimosa.
The young and developing Tigresses were brave enough when they made a grand return to the Final Four.
But the question is: can they growl when the league finally enters its crucial stretch?
The former skipper Lastimosa vowed that they wouldn’t let such golden opportunity to slip from their hands.
They’re almost there.
All they have to do is to be brave.
Lastimosa, for her part, vowed to remain stout.
“Pero kailangan siguro simulan ko muna lahat sa sarili ko para ma-overcome ko ‘yung fears and doubts ko sa sarili ko.”
Yes, it’s never too late for her to be a hero.