De La Salle University skipper Kim Fajardo has been one of the most prolific setters in the country since she first played for the Taft-based program back in the 75th season of the UAAP.
Since then, Fajardo has won two UAAP championships and numerous Best Setter awards in various leagues.
But the Batangas native has always encountered conflict when it came to playing for the National Team.
In 2017, Fajardo finally has her shot, after being included in the 25-woman pool for the National Team that will play in the Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship and SEA Games.
This time around, Fajardo is set to reunite with Francis Vicente, her head coach with the RP Youth Team back in 2011 — the last time she donned the country’s colors.
“Siyempre unang una sobrang thankful ako kasi first time kong mag-represent ng Philippines sa SEA Games. Sana dire-diretso, sana suportahan, [at] maging isa tayo ngayon sa coming na SEA Games na ito,” Fajardo shared after La Salle took down the University of the Philippines, Sunday evening.
“Ang sarap talaga kasi, finally, magkakaroon ako ng chance na maka-represent ng country natin.”
Fajardo looks like a cinch to make the final 12-woman roster as she competes with veteran Rhea Dimaculangan and controversial pick Roselle Baliton.
Baliton, who has received online backlash since her selection was announced last week, has Fajardo’s sympathies. The La Salle team captain recalled her developmental years when she had been converted into a setter.
“Actually dati sa RP youth kaka-convert lang sakin, wala pang isang taon noon tapos maglalaro na ako ng international na liga,” the 23-year-old shared, adding that it had also been Vicente who convinced her to try setting.
“Siguro bigyan naman natin ng chance ‘yung bata [Baliton] na ipakita kung anong meron sa kanya ngayon. Huwag ‘yung puro pam-babash kasi isa ‘yan sa magiging thinking na bata para bumaba ang kumpyansa niya.
“Kunwari mada-down siya eh, sasabihin niya ganon ba ako ka-tanga, ganon ba ako ka-lampa na hindi ako marunong mag-set? Na wala akong chance na ipakita kung ano ang meron sa sarili ko? So bigyan natin siya ng chance,” she pointed out.
“At saka siya naman ang nag-tryout doon eh, malay ba natin kung anong ginawa niya doon, huwag tayong parang maging harang sa kanya.”
And with these words coming from one of the best setters of this generation, maybe it’s about time to start trusting the process.