Mean Mendrez embraces role as UE’s new captain
MANILA, Philippines—University of the East has not had a lot of success in the past five years but it had one the best stabilizers the UAAP has seen for a long while in its roster.
Kath Arado was one of the more decorated players in league history having won the Rookie of the Year in Season 77 and the Best Libero in Season 81 as well as Best Receiver and Best Digger in Season 80.
With Arado gone, Mean Mendrez is inheriting the responsibility for carrying the Lady Warriors to better years.
Mendrez was the ninth best scorer in Season 81 tallying 171 total points and was the Lady Warriors’ no.2 offensive option behind Judith Abil, who graduated in 2019, who had 199.
With the captaincy in her grasp, Mendrez said she is embracing her new role as the team’s leader.
“Last season I already prepared myself that this would happen when Ate Kath left and I would be the one guiding the team,” said Mendrez in Filipino Thursday at UE’s gymnasium.
“That was when I realized that I shouldn’t be too laid back or be childish because I’ll be the one leading the team from that point on.”
But becoming a captain is not without its challenges, especially at the beginning.
Mendrez admitted to have cried about new responsibility with head coach Karl Dimaculangan’s tough love nearly taking a toll on her.
Dimaculangan’s words, however, ultimately became Mendrez’ source of inspiration as she realized her mentor’s nagging was a way for him to project his belief on her.
“At first it was very difficult and it came to a point that I would cry at night and thinking ‘could I still do this?’” said Mendrez. “Coach Karl would also consistently ask me ‘what? Are you sure you’re ready for this?’”
“Initially it was hard to hear but I slowly realized that he’s sees something in me that I can lead the team.”
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