UP LADY MAROONS: Learning from experience
Mark Escarlote on Sep 24, 2016 09:47 AM
The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons will once again show their fighting form for the coming 13th V-League Reinforced Conference.
The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons hope to take advantage of their stint in the 13th V-League as one of their most important build-ups heading into the UAAP Season 79.
Veteran Nicole Tiamzon sees the squad’s campaign in the Reinforced Conference, which will open on October 1 as a barometer of the level they are in now.
The Diliman-based team will compete with seven other squads in this import-laden conference. The Lady Maroons also joined the previous two conferences in the season, having a decent finish in the Open Conference before claiming the third place trophy in the recently concluded Collegiate Conference.
“We are taking this conference same as before, bilang preparation namin sa UAAP,” Tiamzon told ABS-CBN Sports while on a photo shoot for the incoming conference.
Their past two stints also served as a testing ground for their new setters Rose Cailing and Mae Basarte with the departure of playmaker Jewel Lai after leading the Lady Maroons to a Final Four appearance in the UAAP for the first time in more than a decade.
“It serves as a practice sa team naming para maka-adjust kami sa bagong setter then for gaining also experience sa mga bata and ‘yun pa rin exposure,” added Tiamzon.
Collegiate Conference 1st Best Outside Spiker and 78th UAAP Rookie of the Year Isa Molde believes that joining the V-League as part of their preparation helped them jell at mature more especially as they compete other collegiate squads and commercial teams.
“Mahalaga ito kasi dito kami nakakatingin ng mga bagong plays at dito namin nasusukat yung level namin sa laro,” she said. “Dito kami natututo ng maraming bagay kasi hindi lang collegiate teams ang mga nakakalaban namin pati mga commercial teams.”
“Natututo kaming maging palaban at mas nasusukat namin dito ang maturity namin every game and also 'yung nakukuha naming exposure,” Molde added.
Tiamzon, for her part, added that they have learned a lot in the past two conferences and they will learn more as they embark on a new campaign –and hopefully surpass if not equal their third place finish in the same contest last year.
“Marami kasing nangyari (at na-experience) eh like bigla-bigla kaming bibitaw and ‘yung mga time na nananalo,” the Lady Maroon said. “Siguro marami kaming lessons learned mula sa Open Conference to Collegiate and until hanggang dito sa Reinforced Conference.”
The Lady Maroons will parade the same core that they fielded in the Open and Collegiate conferences but this time added two Thai imports who have yet to arrive. Back to see action are veteran Kathy Bersola, Diana Carlos, Justine Dorog, Marian Buitre and libero Princess Gaiser.
With tough competition ahead, both Tiamzon and Molde want to temper the expectations. What they and the rest of the team’s main goal is to get experience and to toughen up for the UAAP wars.
“Wala namang expectations,” said Tiamzon. “Siguro ganoon pa rin, ang iniisip namin ay practice ito para maging helpful siya sa aming preparation sa UAAP.”
“Siguro maglaro lang. Basta training pa rin ang tingin ko sa Reinforced Conference,” she added. “As long as mayroon kaming nagi-gain na experience at nagi-gain kaming lesson sa mga previous mistakes namin ‘yun ang importante.”
“Hindi na lang namin iniisip ‘yun (expectations) kasi kung mas lalo naming iisipin mas dagdag pressure ‘yun eh,” Molde agreed.
“Siguro huwag na lang muna sila mag-expect masyado sa akin and sa team kasi hindi naman namin iniiisip ‘yung (championship) kasi every game ang gusto naming isipin. Hindi ‘yung tatalon kaagad kami sa championship. One game at a time,” said the 17-year-old Molde.
The incoming sophomore added, “Marami pa kaming weaknesses like ‘yung blocking. Marami pa talaga kaming kulang, siguro iisa-isahin muna namin na ayusin ‘yun sa tulong ng pagsali sa V-League.”
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