ROOKIE WATCH: Lycha Ebon dares to shine this season
MANILA, Philippines – Jolina Dela Cruz of De La Salle University (DLSU) and Eya Laure of University of Santo Tomas (UST) may be the most popular contenders for the Rookie of the Year accolade, but Lycha Ebon of Far Eastern University (FEU) definitely deserves to be in that conversation as well.
The Morayta-based squad's top rookie recently recorded a new career high in the collegiate ranks after she scored 21 points in their five-set win against the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors on Wednesday, March 6.
Although the Lady Tamaraws dropped the 4th set, she kept her confidence high in the pressure-packed decider.
“Hindi po ako nagdududa sa sarili ko. Hindi ako nag-doubt," said Ebon.
(I don't doubt myself.)
Her scintillating performance was reminiscent of how former FEU star Bernadeth Pons – the previous owner of jersey No. 2 – would lead her team to victory. (READ: FEU rookie Lycha Ebon proves worthy of Pons' number)
The rookie said she just blocks off expectations and all talks of comparison with Pons.
“Di ko iniisip yung mga sinasabi ng ibang tao kasi, well, magkaiba naman talaga kami ni ate Pons eh. Alam naman natin na legend si ate Pons.”
(I don’t think about what other people say because our game is completely different. We all know that Pons is a legend.)
As other UAAP teams are now designing game plans to limit her firepower, Ebon remains unfazed as she plans to stay daring on court.
"Sinasabi ko lang sa sarili ko na hindi matakot," said Ebon. "Kasi the more na matakot ako, the more na pangit ang performance ko. Iniisip ko lang kanina na dapat ilabas ko sa game yung pinag-train ko sa FEU."
(I just tell myself not to get scared. The more I get scared, my performance will get bad. I just think that I should show what I trained for in FEU.)
Before joining FEU, Ebon was playing volleyball in Davao. She was recommended to Lady Tamaraws head coach George Pascua by her friend “Kuya Tony.” Their conversation eventually led to Pascua traveling all the way to Davao.
Ebon had a successful career in Davao where she won a couple of titles, but she wants to add more to her trophy collection. She doesn't mind the individual awards, but what matters the most to her is the UAAP championship.
“Basta makatulong lang ako kanila ate at maipanalo ang season na ‘to.”
(I just want to help my seniors and win the championship this season.) – Juro Morilla/Rappler.com