MANILA, Philippines -- Even in a "no-bearing game," Heather Guino-o still rose to the occasion to help Far Eastern University (FEU) seize a morale-boosting win ahead of the UAAP Season 81 Final 4.
Already locked in the No. 4 seed, FEU stunned defending champion De La Salle University with a come-from-behind win in five sets, 25-22, 13-25, 15-25, 27-25, 15-8, on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Guino-o was at the forefront of the Lady Tamaraws' charge, scoring a career-best 24 points that earned her the final Chooks to Go-Collegiate Press Corps Player of the Week citation in the women's volleyball tournament.
“Para sa amin hindi siya no-bearing,” Guino-o said. “Malaking tulong nitong game na ito kapag nanalo kami para sa mga next po naming games. Kasi makaka-boost po ito ng morale namin.”
After ending an eight-game skid to La Salle, Guino-o bested candidates Chiara Permentilla of Adamson University, Sisi Rondina of University of Santo Tomas, Kat Tolentino of Ateneo de Manila University and Jolina Dela Cruz of La Salle for the weekly nod given by beat writers from the broadsheets, tabloids and sports websites.
“Sobrang importante at saka sobrang halaga kasi ayun nga sobrang eager kami na makuha ‘to kasi ang tagal na namin silang hindi natatalo tsaka it’s time naman na ipakita namin na kaya din namin silang matalo,” she added.
The spiker from Cavite emerged as FEU's top scorer -- and seventh overall in the league -- after averaging 12.8 points per game in the elimination round.
Now in her final playing year, Guino-o just wants to do everything she can to help FEU win games, and be a great example for her teammates.
“Hindi ko naman naiisip 'yung points talaga, ang naiisip ko kung ano yung makakapagpanalo sa team, kung ano 'yung makakapagpaboost sa mga teammates ko ng kumpiyansa nila,” Guino-o said. “Kailangan ko muna isipin na kailangan mag-start sa sarili ko para makita nila na kailangn din nila na tulungan ako na ipakita kung ano 'yung kaya nila.”
The bigger challenge is now ahead of FEU as it will take on the league-leading Ateneo Lady Eagles in the Final 4 for the third straight year.
The Lady Tamaraws ousted Ateneo last year as the No. 2 seed, but the tables have turned this year as the Lady Eagles are armed with the semis bonus this time around.
Guino-o said this has just made them more eager to win for them to reach their goal in returning to the finals.
“Sobrang eager kami matalo 'yung Ateneo, lalo na po may twice-to-beat advantage sila kailangan talaga namin manalo para makuha namin 'yung pinaka main goal namin,” Guino-o said.
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