UAAP 80 VOLLEYBALL: Marami pa kaming dapat trabahuhin -- Santiago
Maganda 'yung pinakita ng team namin, pero sa akin, alam kong kulang pa at marami pa kaming kailangan trabahuhin ni Coach Babes (Castillo), lalo na sa kundisyon ng katawan -- NU ace hitter Jaja Santiago
Graduating National University ace Jaja Santiago felt that the Lady Bulldogs could’ve done better in their four-set win over Adamson University Saturday in their UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament opener.
“Maganda 'yung pinakita ng team namin, pero sa akin, alam kong kulang pa at marami pa kaming kailangan trabahuhin ni Coach Babes (Castillo), lalo na sa kundisyon ng katawan,” said Santiago after NU’s 25-15, 25-23, 16-25, 25-13, win over the Lady Falcons at the MOA Arena.
The Lady Bulldogs were in control after two sets but their intensity quickly faded in the third frame as Adamson U capitalized on NU’s sloppy floor defense and reception to build a 19-9 lead. Santiago, who led all scorers with 16 points, tried to will the Lady Bulldogs back in the frame but the Lady Falcons led by rookie transferee Chiara Permentilla and returning middle blocker Mylene Paat powered Adamson in the closing stretch to extend the match.
“Pa-last set na namin, nakikita na bumabagal kami imbis na bumibilis so ayun. Noong third set, um, siyempre yun nga, sabi ko nga kanina, ‘yung kundisyon ng katawan namin is bumababa,” said Santiago, who is in search for her first UAAP title. “So nawalan kami ng receive, nag-slow down 'yung team namin and nag-relax.”
An observation shared by Castillo, who steered the NU girls’ volleyball team to four straight titles.
“Okay, I think obviously you can see what went wrong. Kung ano ang nangyari, sabi nga ni Jaja, and I think she's right. Conditioning,” said Castillo, who replaced coach Roger Gorayeb. “’Yung katawan, we wanted to produce more on the third set, pero makikita mo, kumbaga sa battery, medyo bumamaba ng kaunti.”
“That's our struggle, pinag-aaralan namin kung paano gagawin yun. Siyempre may short-term solution, merong long term,” he added. “But definitely parehas naming iintindihin 'yun.”
The Lady Bulldogs will face Ateneo de Manila University, which NU swept last year in the elimination round, on Wednesday.
“Siyempre definitely pag-aaralan namin maigi 'yun kasi though marami sa kanilang nawala, hindi kami puwedeng magpa-kampante kasi maraming kaya at maraming kayang i-improve ang mga players every season,” said Santiago looking ahead at their next assignment. “Hindi natin alam kung ano ang kaya nila, so kailangan namin paghandaan at i-push pa ang sarili namin sa training.”
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