MANILA — In a light moment after their game against the NU Lady Bulldogs on Sunday, former UP Lady Maroons team captain Kathy Bersola confirmed she channeled her basketball hero Kobe Bryant’s ‘mamba mentality’ during the match.
“Pinapanood ako ni Kobe eh, so bawal ago magloko,” said the graduating middle blocker. Incidentally, a banner of Bryant was hung on top of the court at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Turning serious, however, Bersola said that she just focused on her game.
“(My) mind set was just do my job and help uplift my teammates,” she shared.
The Sports Science senior added, “I wasn’t really focused on what they were going to do, unlike before na parang iniisip ko talaga sila. Nag-focus lang ako ngayon sa sarili ko and sa team, kung paano kami makakapag-execute, kung paano makakapag-perform.”
The new approach to the game seemed to have worked for Bersola as she tallied 14 points, including an individual game-high of eight blocks.
Yet despite her strong performance, she also gave credit to her teammates’ gallant effort against the Lady Bulldogs.
“Masaya ako for all of my teammates. Lahat nag-step up. Lahat tina-try yung best at nakikinig kay coach. Sumusunod din sa game plan,” Bersola said.
Justine Dorog, who has now become UP’s only libero after Pia Gaiser suffered a season-ending ACL injury, was also commended by Bersola. “I’m really proud of her. Anak-anakan ko yan eh, so I’m really proud of her,” she admitted.
“Right before UAAP lang siya ginawang libero. Siya siyempre, gusto niya mag-spike, gusto niya maging open spiker, pero tinake niya yung challenge ni coach. Ngayon na solo libero nalang siya, bagong challenge ulit.”
With a 7-5 win-loss record in UAAP Season 79, the UP Lady Maroons are now tied at fourth place with the NU Lady Bulldogs.