As an old adage goes, sometimes, the worst experiences can bring out the best in someone.
This fits Carla Sandoval’s performance Saturday for UST to a T when she scorched hot in their opening day win against the veterans of Philippine Air Force, kick starting the squad’s 13th Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference in high gear.
With Sisi Rondina missing the match due to her stint in the ongoing UAAP Season 79 beach volleyball tournament, Sandoval more than filled the void as she matched the output of EJ Laure with both outside hitters topscoring with 19 points apiece.
The Angelicum College alumna’s wide array of attacks from powerful kills to drop balls was a complete contrast to how she delivered during the Collegiate Conference where her jitters obviously got the best of her.
What brought about the change? It’s the more-rigid-than-usual-traning, she says.
“Inspired ako (kasi) hard ‘yung training namin eh,” she said as she munched on a slice of pizza, a prize when she was declared Player of the Game.
“Umiyak talaga ako. Sa training super dikdik sila sa akin kasi hindi naman daw ganun ang laro ko. Pinilit nila lumabas ‘yung laro ko talaga na katulad dati,” she added.
Prior to joining the Tigresses, Sandoval was a hotly-recruited prospect who impressed in local high school tournaments while also being a vital cog in NCR’s title run in the 2015 Palarong Pambansa against home team Davao.
Talking more about the tough week leading to UST’s first outing, the spiker shares: “Binugbog ako sa drills (bilang) parusa. One-man, service, receive, lahat ng pwede i-one-man sa akin, ginawa nila. Umiyak talaga ako as in mugto ang mata.”
In the end, UST coaching staff’s decision to up the notch of their drills worked wonders as senior players Ria Meneses and Chloe Cortez also waxed hot with 15 and 12 points, respectively, while setter Alex Cabaños seamlessly orchestrated the offense with 58 excellent sets.
In hindsight, Sandoval says, “Nakabuti naman ‘yun sa akin. Ganun naman ang gusto ko, ‘yung pinu-push ako sa limit ko.”
“Hindi ko naman po ire-request na hard ulit ang training. Ayoko na. Expect ko lang po na matindi na palagi ang ensayo tsaka ang mindset lang palagi is focus sa game. Wala munang iba,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio