UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Santiago speaks out on NU's alarming skid

Mark Escarlote on Apr 03, 2018 10:01 PM
UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Santiago speaks out on NU's alarming skid
‘Yang sakit na yan ang gawin nating stepping stone para makuha ang goal natin. Yang sakit nay an gagamitin natin para manalo tayo sa susunod na games natin, para maging strong tayo -- Jaja Santiago

National University star Jaja Santiago broke her long silence regarding the alarming losing slump of the Lady Bulldogs in the second round of the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs came spiraling down after an impressive 6-1 finish in the opening round. 

NU dropped four straight matches including a sorry 25-22, 23-25, 21-25, 9-25, loss to University of Sto. Tomas last March 25 before the Holy Week break as the Lady Bulldogs slid to no. 4 spot with a 6-5 win-loss record.  

“Nagkaroon lang kami internal problem, I mean, sa amin as individual,” said Santiago Tuesday night after ABS-CBN Sports caught up with the graduating volleybelle in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix to watch her club team Foton at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

“Parang nagkakaroon na ng lack of motivation yung bawat isa,” added Santiago, who is averaging 19.8 points per game. “Nagkakaroon din ng parang (doubt sa sarili).”

The 6-foot-5 versatile hitter felt that her teammates’ are beginning to doubt themselves as their losses pile up.

“Kasi siyempre every game, ikaw ibibigay mo ang 100% mo so parang sa kanila kasi kapag natatalo feeling nila hindi nila naibibigay yung best nila which is naibibigay naman talaga nila,” she said. “Yun ang tingin ko na parang nawawala sila sa sarili nila na parang nago-overthink na sila na para bang, ‘Ano ba ang gagawin ko sa team ko. Ano ba ang kulang? Paano ko maibibigay ang best ko?’”

“Minsan kasi sa sobrang eager mo na makuha ang gusto mo minsan nawawala ka sa focus dun talaga sa goal niyo,” added Santiago, who is looking to bring NU back to the Final Four after missing the cut in the last two seasons.

During the Holy Week break, head coach Babes Castillo gave his squad a much-needed breather.

“Nitong nakaraang Holy Week, binigyan kami ni coach din ng time din na makapag-isip-isip at huminga Sabi niya, ‘Wala naman talaga tayong problema, we are creating a problem talaga sa team natin,’” she said. “Kailangan talagang maging strong ang mental toughness ng bawat isa.”

To get distractions out of his players’ minds, Castillo asked his wards to surrender their phones. 

“Tinanggal ang mga nakakapagpasagabal sa amin like ‘yung phones ganyan. Pero ok lang naman sa amin kasi nga sabi ni coach kailangan naming mag-start ng day na maganda. Kasi di mo rin maiiwasan na sa phone marami kang makikitang negative. So iwas na muna,” Santiago said. “Sa amin OK lang kasi nakakatulong sa amin. Maaga kaming nakakatulog, maaga kaming nakakapagpahinga.”

NU will try to arrest its skid on Wednesday against University of the Philippines and will use the tears they shed when they lost to UST as motivation.

"Hindi naman iyak 'yun na parang give up na. Iyak 'yun na nasasaktan kasi siyempre natatalo ka pero yung sakit na yan sabi ko nga sa kanila, ‘Yang sakit na yan ang gawin nating stepping stone para makuha ang goal natin. Yang sakit nay an gagamitin natin para manalo tayo sa susunod na games natin, para maging strong tayo,'" said Santiago.             

 

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