MANILA, Philippines — Faith Nisperos is eager to work on her maturity as she takes on an even bigger role for the Ateneo Blue Eagles next year.
The Davaoena spiker’s impressive first full season and Ateneo’s title reign came to an end after losing to La Salle, 19-25, 20-25, 23-25, in their stepladder semifinals match on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I think I really want to improve my maturity. Because when it comes to the skills, my coaches can help me. So the next step is my maturity,” said Nisperos, who scored 19 points and 15 excellent receptions in their final game of the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament.
“It’s something I have to work on, myself,” she added.
Ateneo, which started the season 0-3, rose in the second round and finished 8-6 after winning its do-or-die game against University of the Philippines in the last game of the elimination round.
The Blue Eagles played two more knockout games in the postseason, sweeping the Adamson Lady Falcons in the playoff for No.4 and stunning the third-seed University of Santo Tomas Tigresses to reach the last phase of the stepladder semis before settling for a bronze medal.
Nisperos, who emerged as Ateneo’s leading scorer and league’s No.2 with 267 points in the elims, is still proud of the team’s resiliency despite failing to return to the Finals.
“We really tried. We really fought ’til the end. Maybe it’s not our time, but I’m still grateful that Lord gave us this kind of experience. Something to build on and something we can use in preparation for the next season,” she said.
Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro agreed with Nisperos after his go-to spiker and rookies led by AC Miner showed a promising first season together.
“I have good rookies. We found a way, and made a way with the line-up we have. Our players realized their talents. Faith led the way towards the end, So my takeaways are, that my players know now that they can do it. They can match up to those blue-chip recruits of other teams,” he said.
Nisperos learned a lot of things this season and she hopes to become a more mature leader moving on to season 85, without captain Dani Ravena, who already played her final year.
“With the help and guidance of my coaches and seniors, I learned a lot. I will carry those learnings next season,” she said.
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