MANILA, Philippines – When University of Santo Tomas (UST) was engaged in a back-and-forth fifth set against De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, it turned to a rookie to show the way.
Showing nerves of steel in the decider, Imee Hernandez nailed the differential hits that denied the Lady Blazers' comeback and lifted the Golden Tigresses to their second straight victory in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference.
The 5-foot-9 middle blocker finished with a game-high 20 points built on 16 attacks and 3 kill blocks. Six of her points came in the fifth frame.
For her efforts, Hernandez was deemed the Sports Vision PVL Collegiate Conference Player of the Week.
"Nagma-mature na siya. Ganito naman na siya, kailangan lang niya ang maturity, na makikita niya na nakikipagsabayan siya sa mga matatanda o kasing age niya," UST coach Kungfu Reyes said of Hernandez.
For her part, Hernandez credited the Tigresses' mentor for easing her transition from high school volleyball to the collegiate level.
"Yung programa po na ginagawa ni Coach Kungfu, high school pa lang po ini-explain na niya sa akin kung ano po ang mangyayari pagdating sa college," she explained.
Hernandez would only give herself a rating of 80 out of a 100, however, as she believes she has plenty of room for improvement.
"Nasa 80 kasi marami pa pong dapat i-improve. Nakikita ko na rin ang sarili ko na nagma-mature na kahit papaano," she said. "Dati po kasi sa high school, kapag napagsasabihan na po ako, nawawala na po ako agad. Ngayon mas nag-iimprove na po siya ngayon."
Hernandez edged out teammate EJ Laure, San Beda University’s Cesca Racraquin, Adamson University’s Louie Romero, Arellano University's Necole Ebuen, Far Eastern University's Ivana Agudo, and the Ateneo de Manila University duo of Faith Nisperos and Jaja Maraguinot for the weekly award handed out by reporters from print and online covering the league.
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