It is not easy to replace someone like Kim Fajardo but sophomore Michelle Cobb is up for the challenge as she assumes the starting spot vacated by the three-time UAAP Best Setter starting this season. In their season opener, she showed everyone a glimpse of what she can do.
Michelle gave a good account of herself in her first start last Saturday in which she delivered 37 of the Lady Spikers’ 44 excellent sets. She also had 2 blocks in the game, one of which was on UST’s ace scorer Cherry Rondina that clinched the win for La Salle in 5 grueling sets. Despite standing only at 5’4, she can surely elevate and be a valuable asset on the defensive end.
— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 4, 2018
Her opening day performance may be already considered impressive to many but for coach Ramil De Jesus, he still sees a lot of areas in her game to improve on.
“Sa ngayon passing grade pero kasi nga marami akong nakikita na, hindi ko naman hinahabol na gawin nya yung ginagawa ni Kim Fajardo pero ang sa akin kasi kung ano sya, kung ano yung style nya, i-improve nya yung style nya,” he said of his ward, whose 37 excellent sets came off 116 attempts.
“Then siguro, wag yung more on, siguro more on ano lang sya basta maitaas lang yung bola,” he added. “Mas maganda siguro yung mas nadidiskartehan nya nang husto yung set nya. And at the same time, hinahanapan nya kung paano magkakaroon ng open block or single block yung spikers.”
Michelle on her part admitted that she felt a lot pressure entering the game and embraces the lessons learned from this hard-fought victory.
A lot was going on my mind especially ‘yung composure. Like coach was telling me na kapag composed ka, composed silang lahat. Pag okay ka, okay silang lahat,”
“So, I feel like na parang mind game din siya na kapag nag-fall yung team kailangan may compensation ng points parang yun it’s all in the mind siguro.”
Cobb is looking forward to playing more games, as she knows that that is the only way she’ll improve.
“It’s a long season and yung first game na yun sabi nila okay lang na win na yun five sets kasi marami kaming natutunan and compared pag kunwari three sets lang parang wala masyado,”
Michelle is a prime example of how perseverance and hard work can overcome any trial. Her story on how she made the team is truly inspiring.
Failing to make the cut in the team tryout as an incoming freshman, she still enrolled in DLSU as a regular student. It was during one of her PE classes that she once again crossed paths with Coach Ramil and the Lady Spikers who were training in the same floor at the Razon Sports Building. She was then invited to train with the team. And the rest they say, is history.
She will only get better as the season progresses.