Grand slam-seeking De La Salle University went through a couple of five-setters just to preserve its pristine record and grip of the lead in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
Despite going through the wringer twice in three games to tie National University at the top spot, head coach Ramil De Jesus welcomed their matches that went the full distance as he saw it as a good test for his wards.
“Well, siguro it's a good thing kasi at least makikita mo kung ano pa ‘yung kailangang ayusin sa team, and mate-test mo ‘yung character ng team,” said de Jesus after the Lady Spikers’ 25-22, 25-17, 24-26, 23-25, 15-7 win over Far Eastern University Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
It was the team’s second five-set victory after opening its campaign with a hard-earned win over upset-conscious University of Sto. Tomas. DLSU swept University of the Philippines last Saturday.
“So yun ang good thing doon. At least may mga dapat rotations na, anong adjustment ang pwede mong gawin,” he added. “Ngayon pa lang, nakikita mo na pwede ka mag-adjust eventually.”
DLSU actually had the chance to complete a sweep after takin g a 24-22 lead in the third. But the Lady Tamaraws fought back scoring four straight points capped by Bernadeth Pons’ off speed hit.
Tied with two sets apiece, the Lady Spikers broke a 5-5 fifth set deadlock with a closing 10-2 scoring blitz in a run that saw FEU commit crucial errors before Desiree Cheng pounded the match-clinching kill off a combination play to hand the Lady Tamaraws' second straight defeat.
De Jesus, architect of DLSU’s 10 titles, said that he was disappointed with his wards performance in the third but opted not to give them a tongue-lashing. He instead, motivated his players to keep their intensity high and put pressure on FEU.
“Well, andoon eh, pero 'di mo na kailangan ipakita sa mga players kasi alam mo naman na medyo nad-down sila kapag ganun, so i-encourage mo na lang pagdating ng third and fourth,” he said. “And then, ano eh, decision-making pagka ganoon eh. Pagka, let's say, kapag very emotional minsan nadadala sa loob ng court lalo na kung nafu-frustrate, lalo na kung errors. Hindi makaalis dun ... hindi maka-move on sa errors, hanggang makikita mo na hindi nage-enjoy sa loob ng court.”
The Lady Spikers hopesto use the experience they gained in their matches as they prepare for another challenge on Sunday against the Lady Bulldogs where their pristine record and hold of the lead is at stake.
“Well, um, lahat naman ng teams very competitive. So maganda na itong pinagdadaanan namin ngayon kasi mas nakikilala mo yung character nga ng team,” said De Jesus. “Mas makikita mo kung ano pa ang dapat ayusin sa team.”
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