DLSU coach worried about limited rest, prep time vs. Ateneo
Mark Escarlote on Apr 22, 2016 10:43 AM
Tuluy-tuloy (ang laro) kaya medyo ‘yun ang pangit sa side namin -- DLSU coach Ramil De Jesus
While De La Salle University head coach Ramil de Jesus enjoys having his team in full strength with the return of Ara Galang for a better shot at the title, he worries about the effect of the long and tiring road to the Finals for his team.
The Lady Spikers face bitter rival and two-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum to open the best-of-three 78th UAAP women’s volleyball championship series for the fifth straight installment of the grudge match.
The Lady Eagles had almost a week to prepare, rest and get their condition ready compared to DLSU, which took a harder and bumpier route to its eighth Finals appearance in a row.
DLSU played four games in the last 11 days winning two matches including the championship berth-clinching 25-15, 27-25, 25-21, sudden-death duel with Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws last Wednesday.
“Isa sa pinakamahirap na parte ang pumasok ka sa Finals na galing ka sa do-or-die situation unlike doon sa kalaban mo na medyo nakapagpahinga, na one week nakapag-prepare sa game naming,” said the Lady Spikers mentor.
Graduating players Galang, who missed last year’s Finals after sustaining a season-ending left knee injury, and Mika Reyes delivered 10 points each with Cyd Demecillo, Kim Dy, libero Dawn Macandili and heady playmaker Kim Fajardo doing their part in the do-or-die Final Four as the Taft-based squad laid out its arsenal in full display.
Still, De Jesus is worried of his team’s stamina and condition heading into the final two or three battles of the season.
“(Full strength kami) ‘yun nga lang medyo hindi kami nakapagpahinga kasi tuluy-tuloy ang games namin. Last week naka-three games kami halos four games kami na tuluy-tuloy kaya hindi kami nakapagpahinga,” he added.
The Lady Spikers suffered a sorry five-set loss to the Lady Eagles, 25-21, 22-25, 16-25, 25-21, 5-15, last April 10 to event their elimination round head-to-head.
After three days DLSU closed its elims campaign with a 14-25, 25-21, 19-25, 15-25, win over the National University before losing the Final Four opener 25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 21-25, 14-16 last Sunday against the Lady Tams.
“Nagkasabay-sabay kasi last week finals week sa La Salle tapos puyat, practice, game,” De Jesus added. “So tuluy-tuloy kaya medyo ‘yun ang pangit sa side namin.”
The championship count for the two rivals in the past four seasons is tied with DLSU taking Seasons 74 and 75, while Ateneo owned Seasons 76 and 77.
With school pride and bragging rights at stake preparation time and rest may it be long or limited won’t matter when the championship action begins.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles