All the talk about La Salle gaining back its confidence after a convincing win against Ateneo went down the drain when it came crashing down, bowing to UST in straight sets to end the 1st round of the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Center.
Unsuspecting when they faced the Golden Tigresses, who were at the lower rung of the standings with a then 2-4 record, the Lady Spikers showed up with a lackadaisical performance, tipping the odds to UST’s favor.
This, according to La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus, could have been a backlash of the big win over their arch rivals just last weekend.
“May factor pa din ‘yun siguro ‘yung panalo sa Ateneo. Siguro hanggang ngayon nasa cloud 9 pa,” De Jesus told the press.
Minutes after the loss, De Jesus emerged from the dugout looking puzzled, failing to address what caused the Taft squad to give up without the grit and swag that won them their 5th outing.
“Kahit ako hindi ko rin masagot kung ano nangyari kasi nakita ko sa loob lalamang tapos magra-rally ang kabila,” shared the coach. “Makikita mo na inconsistent pa even sa service. ‘Yung attack, medyo malambot kanina. Sobrang dominated kami ng attack kanina ng UST.”
Former team captain Ara Galang was the lone bright spot for last year’s runners-up as she finished with 15 points and 10 excellent digs.
Sharing what transpired at the dugout during their post-game huddle, de Jesus concluded that his team was unfortunately only physically present.
“Tinatanong ko sila. Marami kasi diyan last playing year na. Tinatanong ko ito ba ang gusto nila sa buhay nila o ito ang gusto nilang ma-achieve sa taon na ito. Hindi daw,” he said.
“So bakit ganun ang laro? Ibig sabihin hindi kayo naglaro. Nandun ang katawan pero wala ang isip,” added the multi-titled coach.
With the loss, De Jesus and his Lady Spikers will be going back to the drawing board as their morale plummets anew due to their hot and cold performance.
“‘Yung na-gain naming confidence last Saturday, nandun eh. Kaso ngayon sa 3 sets loss, medyo mabigat. Pa-start pa naman ang 2nd round. Hopefully, makabalik,” said the mentor.
On going straight to training after being dealt with the loss, he adds, “Ngayon, meron (training) pero siguro para sa correction lang. Pauwi na rin kasi naman. Hindi ko pa sigurado kung may gym pa kami na magagamit. Possible kung may slot sa gym.”
The training of the Lady Spikers Wednesday night at La Salle’s gym pushed through, according to team captain Kim Fajardo. — By Mac Dionisio