UAAP Season 82: Sato leading with energy, good vibes

Mark Escarlote on Mar 17, 2020 07:12 PM
UAAP Season 82: Sato leading with energy, good vibes
(Photo: Arvin Lim)

Graduating Risa Sato is embracing her role as team captain for the National University Lady Bulldogs this UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament.

Back after a year removed from collegiate volleyball action, Sato is bringing in the good vibes and happy approach to the game as well as the experience and maturity needed by the young Lady Bulldogs.

Her leadership on and off the court did wonders for NU, which won two straight games before the tournament was halted in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.       

In spite of obvious obstacles in communication with the Fil-Japanese middle having difficulties expressing herself in English and Filipino, she’s still able to get her message across by example.   

“Sabi ko sa mga teammate ko na, kasama mga rookies, sabi ko sa kanila na basta wag kayong kakabahan. Basta enjoy lang tayo. Basta enjoy ang laro. You look at me. Smile, smile ganyan,” said Sato, who averaged 12.5 points per game including six kill blocks per outing in NU’s first two games.   

During practice, Sato actively preaches the Japanese style of volleyball discipline.

“Malaki po ang epekto niya kasi po iba ang laro niya, iba po ang pagiging jolly niya, iba po ang pagi-enjoy niya, pag-iingay nya sobrang nadadala kami,” said NU sophomore Ivy Lacsina of Sato.

“Mas marami po kaming natututunan sa kanya kasi galing nga siya ng Japan so ang mga nakuha niya dun pinapa-adapt niya sa amin,” she added. “Sobrang good para sa amin kasi hindi lang galing sa coaches ang natututunan namin kundi dahil din sa kanya.”

Head coach Norman Miguel knows Sato’s limitations that’s why he encourages his other veterans to help her in leading the team.

“Nu’ng in-appoint namin siya as team captain, automatic sinabihan namin ang ibang seniors na ‘Kayo ang katulong ni Risa when it comes to expressing her feelings and emotions, her thoughts kasi hirap nga siyang mag-express,” she said.

Former NU star Jaja Santiago has nothing but praises for Sato.  

“Ang maganda naman kay Risa di siya sumusuko na matuto talagang mag-Tagalog. Dati kasi natatandaan ko yan lagi siyang umiiyak. Kasi may gusto siyang sabihin, gusto niyang matutunan ang ganitong skills pero di niya ma-express ang sarili niya,” said the Japan V. Premier League import.

“Pero ngayon makikita mo siya na siya na ang nagga-guide sa players, sya ang kumakausap sa mga players. Happy ako nakaka-adapt na siya sa Pilipinas,” added Santiago.

 

 

---

Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

 

 

 

 

 

Latest News