MANILA, Philippines — Pia Ildefonso was a revelation in her first start for Farm Fresh as she played her best game yet in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
The Foxies may have remained winless in five games but they pushed the defending champions Creamline Cool Smashers to their limits before absorbing a 21-25, 25-21, 20-2, 22-25 defeat in the 2023 PVL second All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at FilOIl EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
And Ildefonso powered their gallant stand as she dropped a career-high 12 points and 11 excellent receptions.
“To be honest, this is the longest I’ve ever played in my life since I learned how to play volleyball. Even with Ateneo, I never played this long,” said Ildefonso in Filipino after the game.
The former Ateneo Blue Eagle admitted that she was surprised when coach Jerry Yee decided to start her but she didn’t let pressure get the best of her.
“There was no pressure. I just played what we training for, how I really play,” said Ildefonso. “That’s also what coach told me, ‘just play your game’ because I have nothing to lose. I really appreciate this and I’m thankful for the chance.”
“I couldn’t believe I scored 12 points. It’s my first time to score double digits in my life. I’m happy, thankful and overwhelmed.”
Ildefonso, who played as a middle blocker in her lone season with Ateneo last year, is grateful for the trust of coach Jerry Yee and setter Louie Romero as they helped her play well as an outside hitter against a champion team.
“I’m really thank for Coach Jerry’s trust to me. And also to Louie, who kept giving the the ball. Even during training, I appreciate how much she talks to me,” Ildefonso said.
“Given we’re playing against Creamline, all of our idols, all of the people who we still look up to up until now. I really felt the heart and we all wanted to contribute, we all wanted to get one. I feel like I owe it to my teammates, we owe everything to each other because we didn’t give up and we gave them a fight,” she added.
Although her career game went for naught. Ildefonso said they remain optimistic as their gallant stand against Creamline will boost their confidence for their remaining games.
“Our team owner, Tito Frank [Lao] told us that he saw us play our hearts out and he’s really proud of us on how we performed because we really gave them a fight and we all played how we really played and we really wanted to win,” she said in Filipino.
The PVL rookie, who decided to forgo her remaining playing years with Ateneo and join the Foxies last conference, said they have to continue to build their chemistry and remain patient to finally end their 10-game losing streak dating back in the Invitationals.
“We can’t always say that we are still young and we’re a new team like it’s only our second conference. But in reality, it’s really sometimes really like that. The other teams have already formed a solid chemistry and chemistry is a big factor. That’s what we’re trying to develop every day,” Ildefonso said. “And little by little, we’re getting our little goals each day. That’s what’s important to us just focus on our team.”
Pia Ildefonso after playing her best PVL game yet for Farm Fresh.She shone in her first start with 12 points and 11 excellent receptions. #PVL2023
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, October 31, 2023