University of Perpetual Help head mentor Macky Carino saw in the eyes of his players what coaches fear the most.
“Takot,” Carino pointed out moments after the Lady Altas bowed down to defending two-time champion Arellano University, 25-23, 9-25, 18-25, 25-22, 12-15, in Game 2 of the best-of-three NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“'Yung sinasabi ko nga sa players ko every time sa training, na kapag pinasukan niyo na takot 'yung ginagawa niyo, dalawa lang 'yung pupuntahan noon: either magkamali ka or 'di mo magagawa 'yung task na binigay sa'yo,’” added Carino.
The Lady Chiefs tied the series, 1-1, and forced a winner-take-all match on Tuesday.
Perpetual recovered from 1-2 match deficit with a huge comeback in the fourth set after trailing, 17-20.
The Lady Altas kept the fifth set close before crumbling in the closing stretch.
“Wala kasing positibo sa ganoon, kung sa utak mo pa lang negative na. Kung di sana kami natakot, kung wala sana kaming doubt sa ginagawa namin, pagdating noong dulo nanalo pa kami,” said Carino, who is trying to deliver the Perpetual’s first title since its three-peat five years ago.
The mentor, who steered College of St. Benilde to its breakthrough title in Season 91 at the expense of thrice-to-beat San Sebastian College led by three-time Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones, felt that Arellano U was able to utilize their championship experience at crunch time.
“Lahat ng players ko wala pang championship experience. Sila meron. 'Yung team na 'yan, 'di basta-basta magpapatalo 'yan kasi champion 'yan,” said Cariño. “Sabi ko, ‘Hindi nila ibibigay sa amin 'yan nang madalian. Ang kailangan natin gawin is laruin natin 'yung game natin and pakita natin 'yung kagustuhan manalo.’”
“Doon siguro kami nagkulang. Noong third set ang dami naming errors. 'Yung second set was our worst, sobrang worst. From nanalo ng set, sobrang worst. Doon nagsimula tapos sinamahan pa ng crowd ng Arellano. Siguro mas experienced sila sa amin,” he added.
Carino also rued his squad’s second set meltdown which saw Perpetual score only two hits, two aces and a kill block in the frame.
“Wala 'yung utak namin sa set na 'yun. Takot na 'yun. 'Yung mga ginagawa ng spiker ko, na-deplete. Noong fifth set, kinapos lang. Marami 'ring breaks of the game,” he said. “Wala kaming ibang gagawin kundi panoorin 'yung game na 'to. Kailangan every rotation, wise kami.”
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