UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Nakikita ko ang team ko na pataas -- Santiago on NU's second round campaign
Mark Escarlote on Mar 04, 2018 07:21 PM
Towards the second round, hindi ko nakikita 'yung team ko na pababa. Mas nakikita ko 'yung team ko na paakyat -- Jaja Santiago
National University ace Jaja Santiago believes that the Lady Bulldogs won’t fall on the same second round woes they had in the past seasons.
The Lady Bulldogs finished the first round on top of the heap after defeating University of the Philippines, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17, Sunday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
With a 6-1 win-loss record, NU is just a win away from tying the number of wins the Lady Bulldogs collected last season.
In the past two years, NU fell short of making it to the Final Four all because of struggles in the second half of eliminations.
The graduating Santiago, who saw the Lady Bulldogs’ second round woes, admitted that there is pressure for the team heading into the second round but she’s confident that this time NU will be ready.
“Pressure? Siguro meron, pero sa akin kasi, sa nakikita ko sa team namin ngayon, mas malaki 'yung in-improve namin kaysa noong dati,” said Santiago, who scored 17 points with 16 coming off attacks.
“'Yung new system ni coach (Babes Castillo) na in-implement sa amin, sobrang nakikita ko na talagang andoon na, nage-engage na talaga 'yung lahat,” she added. “Towards the second round, hindi ko nakikita 'yung team ko na pababa. Mas nakikita ko 'yung team ko na paakyat.”
The Lady Bulldogs were impressive in the first round especially down the stretch when NU outlasted two-time defending champion De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University both in five sets.
But Santiago is bracing for a harder challenge in the second round.
“Actually yung Round 2, back to zero naman talaga 'yan, marami pang magbabago,” she said. “So siyempre expect pa rin, kailangan i-expect pa rin ng team namin na babawi at mas lalakas pa 'yung mga makakalaban namin, at magbabago sila ng strategy.”
NU’s end of the round win erased the bitter defeat the Lady Bulldogs suffered at the hands of Far Eastern University on Wednesday.
“Actually ang sinabi ko lang naman sa teammates ko eh, 'yung pagkatalo natin, hindi 'yun ang magsasabi sa atin kung ano tayo,” said Santiago. “'Yung pagkatalo nating 'yun, 'yun ang nagsasabi kung paano tayo babawi sa pagkatalo na 'yun. 'Yun ang sinabi ko sa kanila.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles