MANILA - Faith Nisperos' rookie season for Ateneo de Manila University did not go as planned, as she and the Lady Eagles played just two games in UAAP Season 82 before the women's volleyball tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The season's cancellation put an abrupt end to what had been a promising start for Nisperos. The highly-touted recruit had 10 points in a solid debut against University of the Philippines, a straight sets win for the Lady Eagles. She produced 13 points in Ateneo's last game of the season, a four-set defeat to archrivals De La Salle University.
While her first year in the UAAP did not go as planned, Nisperos has no regrets. Instead, she focuses on the good memories and the lessons she learned from her seniors, particularly those who were playing in their final seasons.
"I've learned a lot from our training," she said during a conversation with Migs Bustos on "Off the Record". "That's when all the learnings will be exposed."
"Nakapag-training ako with Ate Kat (Tolentino), Ate Jamie (Lavitoria), Ate Jhoana (Maraguinot). May natutunan naman din," she added. "I've learned a lot naman, and marami akong baon."
Her best memory, she says, was entering the court for their game against the Fighting Maroons. Nisperos had shown no signs of jitters in her first game, immediately impressing the Ateneo fans with her powerful hits.
According to Nisperos, she could not help but get emotional when the starting line-ups were announced.
"When the commentary was announcing na UP vs. Ateneo, the crowd was loud, and that really gave me goosebumps," she recalled. "And beside me was (libero) Roma (Doromal), my teammate from NU (National University). We were like, teary-eyed."
"We were both teary-eyed about it, na we're finally here. That was my favorite moment," she added.
That was just one of the moments that helped Nisperos realize that her decision to play for Ateneo was the right one. The young spiker had been a star for Nazareth School of National University in high school, but chose to play for the Lady Eagles over the Lady Bulldogs.
"Masyadong maraming talk about it, kasi nga, they're expecting me to stay in NU," said Nisperos. "But then, I decided to go to Ateneo."
"It's been hard, kasi I think I've lost some friends in the process. But you know, you can't really have them all, and I'm really happy with my decision, going to Ateneo," she said.
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