Even with a 2-0 set lead, UP coach Jerry Yee knew UST had it in them to make a big comeback.
Thus, he warned the Lady Maroons not to be complacent, to keep pushing on and to keep their killer instinct.
Just as he predicted, the Golden Tigresses came charging back, but the Diliman spikers held on for a pulsating 25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 32-30 triumph in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
“I told the girls na wag kayo papakampante. Kumbaga yan naman yung usual game nila (UST), 1st 2 sets, wala sila tapos 3rd, 4th and 5th kinukuha nila yan. So they have to watch out,” Yee said post-game.
After leading early in the 4th frame, UP fell into a spate of errors to allow UST to come close.
It was a gut-wrenching exchange of spikes and errors, as the Tigresses saved several match points before Marian Buitre blocked Cherry Rondina to seal the deal for the Lady Maroons.
Even with the win, Yee rued the fact that nerves affected UP’s play in the last 2 sets.
“Bata, makulit, ang tigas ng ulo e,” he said. “Ise-set nalang natin like we normally do, i-oover natin. Papaluin nalang ng big man mo, ida-drop ball niya pa. Kinakabahan e, obviously. Tatanungin mo, ‘kinakabahan ba kayo?’ ‘hindi po, hindi po,’ tapos ganyan yung laro.”
Yee admitted that even with 3 wins, the Lady Maroons still have a lot to work on, especially with their rotation changes.
“Di pa stable yung team. Yung may bigla kang babaguhin sa rotation and then magugulat din sila, bumabagsak din yung laro,” he said. “Malayo pa kami. We have to practice. Andyan na, nakikita niyo masarap silang panuorin but then malayo pa. We have a long way to go.” — By Joyce Palad