The swift spike of a setter
“Nilakasan ko na lang talaga ‘yong loob ko, ‘di ko talaga ine-expect na gano’n ‘yong magiging outcome [ng laro]. Inisip ko lang talaga na kailangang may mai-contribute [ako sa team] sa kahit anong paraan.”
These were the humble words from volleybelles’ setter turned spiker Myell Joy Pasco on her memorable spikes in the first and last season of National Capital Region-Universities Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCR-UCLAA) last April—two final spikes that bestowed the crown to the Lady Patriots.
Undoubtedly, the unexpected game-winner has her unique sky-high story. As she heads for another year of being a Lady Patriot, let’s start from the narrative of the DLSU-D Lady Patriots’ swift setter-slash-spiker⎯even before her game-winning spikes landed on the floor.
Mind for academics, heart for sports
In her elementary days, Pasco discovered volleyball through the hobby of watching the exciting volleyball games on TV. And after all the times in front of the screen, she already knew what she wanted to be, and that was to be one of the jocks. The discovery of her passion leveled up as she would subsequently reach the peak of her development when she bagged numerous volleyball awards in high school.
“Nag-peak ako ng third year (high school). Nakakakuha na ako ng multiple MVP awards tapos [napasama ako sa] Mythical Six,” Pasco shared.
Pursuing her passion throughout college, Pasco tried out in DLSU-D in 2014 and became a Lady Patriot. Hitting two birds with one stone, Pasco had the chance to play her favorite sport and help her parents through her scholarship.
Being a Civil Engineering student and an athlete at the same time for almost four years now, she balances academics and sports through proper time management and perseverance. And like majority of students, she aspires to graduate on time and also pass the anticipated Civil Engineering board exam.
“Hard work tapos kailangan [ng] time management talaga…kailangan kong magpursigi tsaka kailangan ko tiyagain ‘yong mga ginagawa ko. Patience sa lahat,” she said.
Pasco revealed that her most memorable college moment was her game-winning spikes in the NCR-UCLAA, the grand moment that she wasn’t expecting.
“’Di ko rin ine-expect…no’ng pinasok ako [sa court], inisip ko na lang na gawin ‘yong best ko para makatulong [sa team]. All out na, kasi nga championship na, last game na,” Pasco shared.
After being down 2 to 1 sets agaist Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP), the Lady Patriots clawed their way back in the fourth set of that game. The fifth set, however, saw Myell out of the shadows and into the limelight.
Myell’s natural spot was the setter as she was supposed to be orchestrating the offense of a team. They are naturally the strategists of the team⎯the engineers of war planes, not the pilots. But because of the timely shortage of players, she was given the spiker spot in a pressured environment⎯the fifth set of a volleyball match. And like the dropping of a war plane’s bomb on enemy terrain, TIP’s ecstatic mood was destroyed.
It was magical. Myell held the last⎯tensioned, heavy, and winning⎯two points. She wasn’t the main scorer, but she was the last important scorer.
“Nilakasan ko na lang talaga ‘yong loob ko, ‘di ko talaga ine-expect na gano’n ‘yong magiging outcome [ng laro]. Inisip ko lang talaga na kailangang may mai-contribute [ako sa team] sa kahit anong paraan,” she explained.
And she did, she contributed not just in a “kahit anong paraan” but in a way that was the best way possible—a way that led to the crown.
When asked if she is contented with her performance, “Okay naman ‘yong performance kong ayon pero ‘di ako dapat makuntento. Every day, every training may nagbabago, may nagi-improve. Kailangan po laging may learning para po pagdating ng liga, sure ako na prepared ako,” Pasco said.
Improving not only grows Pasco’s individual skills but also being a senior Lady Patriot and an “ate” to the neophytes. Pasco said that they are still reconnecting the bond between the players step by step.
Experience⎯especially from losing records⎯is what helps Pasco motivate to seek what the team lacks.
“’Yong mga simpleng ‘pag natalo kayo, kailangan bumawi kayo. ‘Wag susuko kasi hindi naman ‘yon ‘yong katapusan…every day is a new beginning, a new chance. Laban lang, ‘wag susuko,” Pasco said.
Preparing for their upcoming leagues like the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) and Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA), Pasco shared her ways to excel and improve. From coaches to her own mistakes, she said all she needs is the conscious effort to fly high.
“Pinu-push ko ‘yong sarili ko. Lahat ng mga tinuturo ni coach, kailangan tinatatak ko sa isip ko. Kailangan bawat sermon or bawat mali ko, ‘yon ‘yong gagawin kong basehan para gagawin ko ‘yong tama sa susunod,” she mentioned.
As former Lady Patriot Myka Tiangco leaves the team, Pasco furthered that she needs to make an improvement of her performance to match or be greater than Tiangco’s performance last season.
Pasco serves as an inspiration that everyone, not just athletes, must give out their all in everything they do—even when the circumstances are unsure. Pasco didn’t expect her spikes to lead the Lady Patriots to victory. But one thing is for sure—she gave her best and believed in herself. The championship did not only crown the Lady Patriots, but also gave honor to Myell Joy Pasco.