Before Kent Pastrana donned the Green and White jersey in the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Basketball Tournament, there was a lot talk about how much of a game-changer she would become for the De La Salle Lady Archers.
And it is safe to say that she has lived up to the hype.
Even if she was just a neophyte to the UAAP, Pastrana averaged 16 points and six rebounds throughout the elimination round. Not bad for a rookie and her exploits have earned recognition throughout the league so much so that the Rookie of the Year award and a place in the Mythical Five were bestowed upon her.
“First and foremost, I thank God for giving me the strength at syempre sa mga blessings na binigay Niya sakin and of course because of the help of my teammates and coaches. I am very thankful and I didn’t expect na makukuha yung (mga) award na ito. Sobrang thankful at sobrang saya ko,” she said.
Pastrana is part of a team that regards itself as a family, down from the coaches, players, team managers and even a loyal group of supporters who always make it a point to watch the squad’s exploits regardless if the games are in the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion in Manila, Ynares Center in Antipolo, SM MOA Arena in Pasay or the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Her achievements are simply a win in itself as well for those who supported her and the team all throughout the campaign.
“Sobrang happy and proud po sila sa award na na-receive ko,” she said.
Unfortunately, though, Pastrana and the rest of the Lady Archers never got the chance to show their wares in the Final Four this season. It was the third consecutive year the team has missed out on the post-season slot. However, failures only yield lessons that can be applied for a strong comeback.
“It hurts because we didn’t meet our goal of getting into the Final Four. And it will be a motivation for us na mas gagalingan pa namin lahat sa darating na Season 83,” she said. “As a Rookie of the Year and Mythical Five awardee, I was even more motivated by all the awards I received. And of course, I’ll work on it.”
People say that next season starts once the last game of the year is played. For Pastrana, all the achievements and heartbreaks in Season 82 are done. All eyes are on Season 83 and the pressure’s on considering La Salle is the host for next season.
“All I can say is, we will do our best to win every game to enter the Final Four. We will all work together in order to achieve our goal.”