MANILA, Philippines -- Before the UAAP suspended all of its events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of the Philippines (UP) women's volleyball team barged into the win column of the Season 82 tournament.
A 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 25-17 triumph over University of the East (UE) gave the Fighting Maroons a 1-1 win-loss record. Veteran spiker Isa Molde was the star of the win, putting up 24 points on 18 kills, 4 blocks and 2 aces, while Tots Carlos had 14 points.
For Carlos, what made the win so special was the reaction of their rookies.
"We're really happy that we got this win and sobrang nakakatuwa lang kasi sobrang saya ng mga bata," Carlos said at the time. "'Yun naman ang gusto namin na ipa-feel sa kanila."
"Sabi ko nga before, gusto ko silang tulungan, gusto namin silang tulungan to grow. So ayun, sobrang happy lang, natuwa lang ako sa mga rookies namin, may mga naiiyak pa," she added.
Carlos, now in her fifth season with UP, recalls that she did not get as emotional when they got their first win during her rookie year. As she put it, "chill lang ako." Still, she can understand the reactions of their freshmen.
She knows that for them, playing in the UAAP is a dream come true.
"Dati, parang pangarap lang nila na nasa UAAP sila," she said. "Ngayon, they already got their first win."
"At saka nakakatuwa kasi makikita mo talaga na nilu-look up ka ng mga bata. And sobrang inspired sila," she added.
Still, Carlos knows that it is crucial for their young players to remain on an even keel as the season progresses. They still have quite a long way to go, even as the tournament is in limbo because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"'Yung team namin, actually this year, parang maganda din 'yung mindset eh," Carlos said. "So, hindi kami makukuntento sa isang win lang."
"Yung gusto nga nila sa amin this season is one-point warrior, so one-point at a time. Hanggang hindi natatapos 'yung game, one point at a time," she said.
As it stands, the Fighting Maroons are tied for fifth place with Far Eastern University in the league standings.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).