UAAP 82: Change has come in National U thanks to captain Risa Sato

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 04, 2020 05:47 PM
Change has come in National U thanks to captain Risa Sato
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Smiling all the while, Risa Sato isn't necessarily the intense team captain everybody expects.

Still, she has already made an immediate impact for National University as its new skipper - and she did it even before the season started.

"Nung ginawa naming team captain si Risa, nagbigay siya ng sistema sa team namin," head coach Norman Miguel said after Sato and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs upset University of Sto. Tomas to commence their campaign. "Kaya sa part ng coaching staff, nabawasan yung trabaho namin when it comes to pagdi-discipline ng mga bata."

In particular, coach Norman said the blue and gold have become better in terms of discipline because of the Filipino-Japanese's leadership. "Sa training, meron kaming mop system. May kanya-kanyang basahan sa likod yung players so every time may pawis sa taraflex, sila na rin nagma-mop," he shared.

For her part, Sato said she's just doing what he needs to do to help National U win. "Kailangan talaga yun kasi merong rookies, merong bata. Kailangan talagang ako mag-work," she said.

Indeed, the 24-year-old put her progress in terms of leadership up front and center in their first game in the tournament.

Yes, she was her usual upbeat self, but was showing the way for her teammates at the same time. "Kanina, sobrang excited ko po, ang gulo-gulo ko. Pero siyempre, senior na ako kaya (gina-guide ko bawat) move ng team," she said after contributing 17 points in the thrilling triumph.

In the end, the Lady Bulldogs are only confident that this is just the start of a special season for them - all of it behind the middle hitter who has changed their culture. "Nakakatulong talaga siya sa amin kasi sa kanya pa lang, nafi-filter na yung mga maling nangyayari. That's why we credit so much yung changes ng team because sa system na ginawa ni Risa as captain," Coach Norman said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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