Justine Dorog didn’t play like a rookie for UP in their first UAAP Season 78 game, scattering 9 points in just 2 sets to help the Lady Maroons pull off a three-set win over UE on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Coming off the bench, the former national youth team player admitted to being excited about her collegiate debut, but stressed she was ready to face heightened expectations and a big crowd.
“Everybody contributed well in today’s game,” she told FOX Sports. “Hopefully, our game will continue to improve in our next games. The only opponents we have are ourselves so we have to just focus and play our best.”
Not everything went according to plan for UP, however; as the Lady Warriors kept it close in the last set, especially when Dorog was taken out in favour of veteran Nicole Tiamzon.
“We relaxed a bit, but we didn’t really panic,” she said. “Instead, we focused on how to get those points back. I believe in my teammates, and I reminded them not to relax because the game wasn’t over yet.”
Up next for Dorog and the Lady Maroons is a big test against powerhouse La Salle on Saturday.
The rookie knows they won’t be favoured against the back-to-back runners-up, but they would try and give their best nonetheless.
“We need to be consistent,” Dorog added. “We need to make fewer errors in our services. As for me, I’ll just play my game and try to contribute more to help my team.”
By Joyce Palad