NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Mental toughness key in Perpetual’s amazing semis win

Mark Escarlote on Jan 29, 2019 09:06 PM
Mental toughness key in Perpetual’s amazing semis win
Noong past few games namin from elimination, yung last two games namin, hanggang semifinals namin noon Game 1 doon na namin tini-train ng tini-train (ang mental toughness) -- Macky Carino

Coming into the semifinals, University of the Perpetual Help head coach Macky Carino knew that his squad will face an uphill climb to advance into the championship round.

The Lady Altas came in as the no. 4 seed paired with twice-to-beat College of St. Benilde, which was then on an eight-game romp, in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball Final Four.

The mentor knew what to do.

More than training his wards’ skills and concocting a winning game plan, Carino and his coaching staff invested on one very important aspect of the game: developing the Lady Altas’ mental toughness. 

“Noong past few games namin from elimination, yung last two games namin, hanggang semifinals namin noon Game 1 doon na namin tini-train ng tini-train (ang mental toughness),” said Carino. “Kasi ang team ko kapag medyo nada-down nade-demoralize, yun talaga ang pinilit naming i-develop.”

It proved to be Perpetual’s biggest advantage against CSB.

The Lady Altas showed it in the most impressive way Tuesday as Perpetual Help recovered from 10-points down in the fourth set and a three-point deficit in the fifth to break the hearts of the Lady Blazers, 25-17, 27-29, 19-25, 26-24, 16-14, and punch the last ticket to the Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.    

Perpetual will take on two-time defending champion Arellano University in the best-of-three Finals.

The Lady Altas advanced to it first championship stint since they held the throne back in Season 89.

CSB took a 2-1 match lead and seemed to be on its way to the Finals after building a 22-12 lead.

But just like what Carino instilled to his wards, their mental toughness pulled them through and Cindy Imbo exemplified that mentality.

The Lady Altas mounted an incredible 12-1 scoring spurt capped by Imbo's easy drop off CSB's misreceive to take a 24-23 lead. The two squads traded service errors in the next play before Imbo completed the fourth set comeback with a hit.    

Perpetual again got caught in a 7-10 hole in the deciding frame before Imbo put matters on her own hands by scoring five of the Lady Altas’ six straight points to take a 13-10 lead. The Lady Blazers tied it at 14 before Imbo scored the last two of her season-high 32 points including the championship berth-clinching ace.    

“Sabi ko sa kanila mental toughness all throughout,” said Carino, whose wards also defeated CSB in four sets in the Final Four opener last week. “Kailangan kasi ‘yan ang magpapanalo sa atin. Yung tyaga ng utak namin, yung kinikilos namin, yung kagustuhan naming manalo yun talaga ang nagpakita kaya kami nanalo.”

Perpetual’s mental toughness will be tested once again in the title match starting Friday.

 

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