It was a gallant fight for UP when it faced defending champion Ateneo—at least in the 1st 2 sets.
The matchup may have ended in just 3 frames but the Lady Maroons fought tooth and nail to keep up with the fast-paced play of the Lady Eagles.
In the third frame, however, the inexperience of the young Diliman squad was exposed while Ateneo continued its dominance from start to finish.
Left as the only soldier fighting even at the brink of defeat was rookie Diana Carlos, who showcased a swashbuckling performance to finish with 16 big points.
Talking about her never-say-die attitude, Carlos told the press that her undeterred spirit is something innate to her.
“Actually, normal naman sa akin ‘yung ganun,” she shared.
“Parang naisip ko lang na kaya pa namin ito. Sa training naman kapag may ka-training kami na mas malakas sa amin kaya naman namin habulin,” added the opposite spiker. “Kaya naman namin gawin ‘yung mga ginagawa nila. Pareho lang naman kami ng kinakain.”
Her efforts to try and extend the match were in vain, though, without the help of her teammates who have all sputtered in the endgame even before the match was over.
This, according to Carlos, was due to their lack of communication when it truly mattered.
“Sabi ni coach 1st and 2nd set okay naman kami. Lumalaban naman kami. Nung 3rd set biglang nawala kami,” shared the Pampanga native.
“Bumaba bigla ‘yung energy namin. Sabi ni coach hindi kami nag focus. Kailangan daw kung ano ‘yung energy sa start, ganun hanggang matapos,” she added.
Confirming what was obvious to the eyes of the audience and TV viewers during the 3rd set, the top recruit from class 2016 said they simply lost steam.
On facing the back-to-back champions, she says, “Hindi naman kami na-intimidate. Before ng game nag plan kami, nag-usap kami. Hindi naman namin kailangan ma-intimidate.”
“Hindi na kami nag-usap sa dulo. Frustrated na ulit ‘yung team,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio