With 29 excellent sets and 9 huge points, it was hard to believe when F2 Logistics’s Kim Fajardo revealed that she was feeling under the weather minutes before she and her teammates tore Cignal HD to pieces.
Like what she did in La Salle’s successful Season 78 campaign, Fajardo spearheaded the offense of the Cargo Movers, which was mostly made up of current and former La Salle stars, while also delivering at the service line with 4 aces.
On not feeling like her usual energetic self, the 2-time UAAP champion shares: “Nung nasa dugout ako inaantok talaga ako.”
“Nung bago kasi mag game, antok na antok ako. Nakatulog naman ako ng maayos pero masakit ulo ko. Parang hindi ko feel maglaro,” she added.
Knowing that her role as a playmaker is crucial for the team to jumpstart their campaign on a good note, Fajardo woke up from the lull and ably distributed the attacks with Aby Maraño, Paneng Mercado and Ara Galang all finishing in double digits with a combined 39-point output.
According to the reigning UAAP Best Setter, seeing her seniors fight and dive for the ball snapped her back to life in time for them to take home the win in 4 sets.
“Na-energize na lang ako dahil sa mga teammates ko,” she admitted.
“Una, aminin ko naman na medyo na-pressure ako kasi mga teammates ko mga seniors ko. Nung sa La Salle kasi kaya ko mag command agad-agad. Mas madali kasi mas bata mga kasama ko,” she added. “Ito ngayon mahirap kasi mga seniors ko sila. Nahihiya din ako sa kanila na magsabi kung ano gagawin pero kailangan eh.”
Maraño, who was fired up since the opening buzzer, dominated the stat sheets with 9 kills, 5 blocks, 3 aces with 7 excellent digs and 5 excellent receptions to boot.
For Fajardo, it was a clear sign of her teammates going out of their way to make sure they will win the game for her.
“Naramdaman ko na pinaglalaban nila ako kanina lalo si (Aby Maraño) block-block niya eh. Sabi pa niya sa’kin, ‘O, P2,000!’ Kada block P500 eh naka-ilan siya. Pero siyempre joke lang ‘yun,” she quipped.
Talking about catching fire eventually, she adds: “Na-inspire ako. Ganun naman talaga. Pag nakita mo teammates mo na sobrang pakamatay sa bola, hindi ka pwedeng tatamlay-tamlay ka.”
At one point in the tail end of the match, Fajardo served a cold-blooded block on Cignal’s Carmela Tunay and followed through with a staredown.
This, she says, is just all part of the game.
“Ganun lang talaga ako. Dala lang ng game ‘yun,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio