After emotional UAAP exit, FEU’s Remy Palma still has more to give
MANILA, Philippines - On normal days, Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws’ outgoing team captain Remy Palma is a vision of composure on the court. A sheer vocal leader, she exudes a type of personality that makes an athlete stand out from the rest.
But after her team succumbed to a 4-set loss against the Ateneo Lady Eagles, a match that could have possibly gone to a deciding set, the usually expressive middle blocker was left momentarily speechless and reduced to tears.
Supporters and players alike took the time to praise the graduating skipper as photographed embraces and whispered nothings preceded the Lady Eagles’ celebration of making it to the Finals.
It may not have been the way she wanted to close her collegiate chapter, but Palma left a mark of her own in UAAP Volleyball.
“Kung hindi talaga para sa amin, kung hindi ibibigay sa amin ng nasa itaas, kailangan talaga naming i-accept,” said Palma. “Ganun talaga sa laro, may nananalo, may natatalo. Kailangan talaga i-accept.”
(If it really wasn’t for us, if the man above won’t give it to us, we just need to accept it. That’s how a game works, someone wins and someone loses. We just need to accept it.)
Palma, however, failed to conceal her emotions as she looked back at the what could-have-beens of her final year of representing the Morayta crew.
“Sobrang sakit, siyempre. Ayoko namang mag-end nang ganito ‘yung season ko. Pero wala, ganito talaga.”
(Of course it really hurts. I didn’t want to end my season like this. But we can’t do anything about it anymore.)
Fierce competitor on court, friend off-court
Deliberate or not, Palma’s signature swag and game antics were often subjected to misinterpretation. But the Lady Tams captain reiterated that what happens on court, stays on court.
She even drew high compliments from the Katipunan side after their semis match-up, as Jia Morado praised her undeniable puso after the game.
“Siyempre, nakaka-overwhelm na ganoon pala tingin nila sa akin, kahit minsan iniinis ko sila o naiinis sila sa akin,” the former V-League second best middle blocker shared with a laugh.
“Pero after ng game, wala naman na ‘yun eh. On court lang naman ‘yun. Once tapos na, andoon pa rin ‘yung respeto, ‘yung sportsmanship. Magkakaibigan naman kami outside the court.”
(It’s overwhelming to know that they think of me that way, even though sometimes I tend to annoy them. But after the game, that’s all gone, it’s only on the court. Once the game’s finished, the respect and sportsmanship are still there. We’re all friends outside the court.)
With the emotional exit of one of the finest middle blockers of her generation, Palma is now ready to pass on her spot to her younger teammates. She specifically cited the potential she sees in heir Jeanette Villareal.
“Potential talaga [si Jeanette]. Kailangan lang ng confidence sa sarili niya tsaka ‘yung tiwala sa sarili niya na kayang-kaya niya gawin ang kahit na ano pa sa harap,” said Palma.
(She really has potential. She just needs to be confident and learn how to trust herself so that she can do anything in front [of the net])
More to give
She may have established a name for herself in her own unique way, but Palma believes she has yet to reach her full potential even after 5 years of playing in the league.
“Kailangan ko pang mag-hard work, kasi alam kong kulang pa ‘yung naipakita ko. Basta lagi lang accept nang accept [ng blessings] para maggrow ako as a person, as an athlete.”
(I still need to work hard, because I know I have more to give. I will just continue to accept so that I could grow even more as a person and as an athlete.)
Palma, who will join FEU head coach Shaq delos Santos in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference, kept mum when asked if she has plans to eventually join the Lady Tams’ mentoring staff in the future.
Delos Santos, however, believes the graduating player’s leadership skills can be a good foundation for what could possibly lead to a coaching career in time.
“Andoon na gusto niya na willing siya matuto,” said Delos Santos of Palma. “Nag-reflect naman sa buong team [‘yung leadership niya] kasi nakita namin ‘yung respeto ng players namin [sa kanya].”
(She’s very eager and willing to learn. Her leadership reflected on the whole team, we saw how the players respected her.)
Whether she winds up as a mentor or mentee, either in the collegiate or pro leagues, Palma is bound to leave her own personal legacy for her chosen sport.
But for now, she bows out of the UAAP stage with proud confidence, and a personality that could only make the viewers go, “there’s no one quite like Remy Palma.” –Rappler.com