As she moves on, Faith Nisperos hopes she left a mark on Ateneo program
MANILA, Philippines — After deciding to move on to the next chapter of her career, Faith Nisperos hopes that she would be remembered as an Ateneo Blue Eagle who “could influence change and fought until the end.”
Nisperos decided to take a leap of faith to the pros and committed to the Akari Chargers in the Premier Volleyball League after three UAAP seasons with the Blue Eagles.
It may have been a short UAAP career but the 23-year-old spiker hopes she was able to leave a good legacy to the rebuilding program, which missed the Final Four for the first time since 2009 with a 4-10 finish in Season 85.
“I want to be remembered as someone who could influence change. I know right now I’m moving on but I hope that they’ll remember me as someone who left a mark that will be good for the program,” said Nisperos in a press conference organized by her management Virtual Playground.
“And of course, I also want to be remembered as someone who fought for them. I know that all throughout my stay with Ateneo I really did my best and gave my all every time,” she added.
The graduating management student-athlete vows to take her resiliency — her biggest learning as a Blue Eagles — when she takes her act to the pros.
“You’ve seen my journey and it’s really up and down. The number one [lesson I learned] is being resilient, being able to pick yourself up, and being able to conquer adversities. That is something I really learned, actually, I learned the hard way. That’s the biggest lesson I could bring,” she said.
The Davaoena spiker out of Nazareth School played three seasons with Ateneo, starting in 2020, which was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
SEASON 84 MEMORIES
Nisperos returned to action in Season 84 and led the Blue Eagles to a third-place finish, losing to La Salle in the final phase of the stepladder semifinals. She also emerged as the 2nd Best Outside Hitter in the same year.
For the 5-foot-11 spiker, the highlight of her UAAP career was Season 84 as they overcame a 0-3 start and took down the Adamson Lady Falcons in a playoff for No.4 and eliminated the No.3 University of Santo Tomas Tigresses in the stepladder semifinals to secure the bronze medal.
“All throughout my stay with Ateneo I really treasure all the moments with my teammates especially in training because it is where we worked hard together every day,” said Nisperos in Filipino.
“But if there is a highlight for me I could say it’s Season 84 when we overcame a bad start and finished with a bronze. For me, until this day I am really in awe. Wow, we made it. Coming from the bottom, we helped each other and we pushed ourselves up to [reach] the Final Four and eventually finishing third.”
Nisperos said her team accepted her decision to turn pro after weeks of deciding whether she will return or not, amid the offers from seven club teams.
“When I made the decision, I messaged them saying that this is final. I can say they took it like they accepted it well because they know where I’m coming from and they know na my intentions are pure and it’s all looking out for myself and of course, like I said [I want to] step out of my comfort zone more and they accepted that well,” she said.
As she spreads her wings to a professional path, Nisperos expressed her gratitude to Ateneo for helping her realize her childhood dream.
“I’m very, very grateful that I became part of that community, because it was all just a dream for me. I’m really grateful that I played and studied in Ateneo. I won’t get tired of saying thank you for that experience. Of course, thank you for your support. I know it’s been rough lately with what’s happening to the women’s team and how the season ended,” she said. “But going into the PVL I know that there are people who genuinely support me, who want the best for me and for that I am thankful and I really appreciate their support wherever I go.”