Lady Warriors Kath Arado, Lai Bendong shine despite UE’s gloomy season
MANILA, Philippines—University of the East may have finished the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament on a sour note, but there were two players who made their mark for the season.
Kath Arado and Lai Bendong distinguished themselves from the rest of the field as they took home the Best Libero and Setter trophies Wednesday.
The Lady Warriors finished the season at the no.7 spot with a 3-11 record but the team’s overall performance did not diminish the duo’s worth, but it did create a little surprise for the both of them.
“I was really surprised when I knew it at first but it’s amazing that I got this blessing,” said Arado in Filipino. “We expected that the winners would come from the Final Four teams and when we entered our final year all our focus was on the team and not on the individual awards.”
Arado was the undisputed leader in her position, taking the top spots in both the Best Diggers and Best Receivers tables.
UE’s defensive stalwart averaged 6.94 excellent digs per set and had an efficiency rating of 60.82 percent in reception.
Arado’s closest competitor in terms of digging was Adamson University’s Tang Ponce who averaged 6.87 excellent digs per frame while National University’s Jennifer Nierva was the second in receptions with an efficiency rating of 50.62%.
Bendong, on the other side of things, averaged 6.81 excellent sets per frame for the Lady Warriors with the Lady Eagles’ Deanna Wong coming in second with 6.29 excellent sets per frame.
“Kath and I never thought of the individual awards because the team standings were more important for us but this is still a blessing for us,” said Bendong.
The pair may not have lifted UE’s fortunes, which were dark throughout their whole five-year stay with accumulated 63 record, they were still happy to leave behind their reputation as two of best players this season.
“We’re happy we’re going to leave UE that even though we weren’t able to improve our team standings we were able to give inspiration to the younger players that their big sisters worked hard for these awards,” said Bendong.