Lady Bulldogs still positive after latest setback
Mark Escarlote on Mar 27, 2017 09:36 AM
Kailangan lang talaga mag-improve kami sa pagkatalo, and di naman kailangan ma-low morale -- NU assistant coach Edjet Mabbayad on Lady Bulldogs latest setback
National University is not dwelling on its latest setback as they look forwad to win their remaining two games to secure a Final Four spot in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs dropped a four-set match against University of the Philippines 14-25, 27-25, 21-25, 12-25, Sunday at the Big Dome to tie their tormentors with identical 7-5 win-loss slates.
Semifinals-bound Ateneo de Manila University occupies the top spot with 10-2 record followed by another Final Four qualifier defending champion De La Salle University (9-2). UP is at third followed by University of Sto. Tomas (7-4) and NU.
The Lady Maroons took the third spot because of superior points based on matches won with 22 followed by UST (21) and NU (19).
Even after a loss, Lady Bulldogs assistant coach Edjet Mabbayad, who filled in for head coach Roger Gorayeb who skipped the match to attend the high school graduation of his son, remained positive of NU’s chance to return in the Final Four after missing last year’s edition.
“Ngayon lang naman, nagta-tie lahat ng teams. Must win ‘yung remaining two games and ganun din naman sa ibang teams,” he said. “Important games sa mga team ngayon. Dalawang laro sa amin, dalawang laro sa kanila, kailangan din nila manalo dun.”
Mabbayad added that the team is now focusing on their last assignments against Far Eastern University on Sunday and University of Sto. Tomas on April 8.
“Kailangan lang talaga mag-improve kami sa pagkatalo, and di naman kailangan ma-low morale,” said Mabbayad. “Kailangan lang i-motivate sila para sa upcoming games.”
Against UP, the Lady Bulldogs gave away 14 service aces and were poor in their floor defense and in receptions.
Libero Gayle Valdez saw action in all four sets but only tallied nine digs. NU had 33 digs, 20 less than of the Lady Maroons, and 17 receptions compared to UP’s 27.
A problem the Lady Bulldogs need to address in the crucial stretch of the race for the last two Final Four berths.
“Big factor sa amin ‘yun (mababang reception),” said Mabbayad. “Kaya kailangan i-double time ang mga outside hitters namin para di man namin ma-control ang misreceive namin ‘yung open namin and utility kailangan matibay.”
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