Overconfidence was NU’s downfall v UST, admits Jaja Santiago

After suffering a stunning loss on Saturday, NU tower Jaja Santiago admitted the Lady Bulldogs might have been a tad too overconfident after riding on a 3-game winning run. 

“Overconfident. Sobra sa kumpyansa na mananalo. Nakalimutan na kumilos ng maayos,” she said.

“Yung mga ibang teams natalo na namin sila, sabi namin na kaya din namin (ang UST), kaya din namin manalo,” the middle blocker added. 

Read: Gorayeb after shock loss: Kasalanan ko na lang, wag sa mga bata

Being able to defeat back-to-back runners-up La Salle a couple of games back, Santiago said it was the mental aspect of things that held them back once more. 

“Masyadong nagrelax sa kung anong meron na kami,” she said. “Kinabahan din sila. Lagi ko iniisip, kahit anong panalo ng team mo, hindi pwede mag-relax. Kailangan go lang lagi, laging go hard. Hindi pwedeng petiks, dahil yung petiks na yun pwede magdala sayo sa pagkatalo.” 

“Yun ang laging iniisip ko, hindi ko lang alam sa teammates ko. Kasi yung ang nakita ko, nag-relax kami, nawalan kami ng receive, nawalan kami ng service, eh yun pa naman ang pinaka importante,” added Santiago about her teammates.

Read: UST survives ‘worst passing’ to inject life into Final Four hopes

During the deciding frame, it was during Santiago’s absence that the Golden Tigresses made its run, stringing 5 straight points to recover from an early deficit.

Santiago, who finished with 23 points, was helpless as the Lady Bulldogs made a mess of themselves.

“Nagdadasal talaga ako na sana deuce yung 5th set. Isang ikot nalang papasok na ako,” she said. “Kahit sabihin natin na hindi lang naman ako yung inaasahan, pero kailangan ng pampalito ng blockers. Kita na nila na si ate Myla (Pablo) nang si ate Myla (Pablo) ang binabantayan.”

“Gusto ko na pumasok para lahat kami gumana, makapalo o maka score, para malito yung kalaban namin,” she added. 

Read: UST coach shares ‘secret’ in huge upset of powerhouse NU

Knowing how important her role is to her team, Santiago felt frustrated especially when she cannot do anything during  the last remaining minutes in the 5th set.

“Kung kulang lang kami sa loob, o pag walang laro yung isa, nad-down na yung lahat. Ganun yung naf-feel ko, pag nawala ako, nag-aalangan din sila dahil naghahanap sila ng sasandalan,” she closed. — By Arylle Magtalas 

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