Not to take anything away from the hard-working belles of UP, but for head coach Jerry Yee, the easy win over NU was more of the Lady Bulldogs’ own doing.
These were the musings of Yee when he talked to the press Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Center after the Lady Maroons ended their UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball 1st round campaign with a straight sets routing of the powerhouse squad.
“It was more NU than UP. Medyo wala sila eh. Nilabas nga ‘yung mga key players,” opened Yee.
The girls off F. Jhocson looked like deers caught in the headlight, scoring only 34 kills and 3 blocks as opposed to UP’s 44 and 7.
“Parang wala sa huwisyo pumalo ‘yung kalaban. I’m not taking the credit away from my girls pero meron pang ilalaro ‘yung NU eh,” shared Yee.
With the win, the Diliman squad moved up to a 4-3 win-loss record to tie FEU in 3rd place. NU, on the other hand, continued its slump as the team is now on a 3-game skid with a 3-4 record.
Rookie Isa Molde and veteran Nicole Tiamzon waxed hot, tallying 13 points apiece while freshman Diana Carlos was not too far behind with 12 markers of her own.
“Kumbaga ‘yun ‘yung ina-anticipate natin na sana makasali kami sa bandwagon. Makasabit man lang kami sa ride kasi slump sila eh. Baka sa amin pa magising ang malas naman namin,” Yee shared, talking about taking advantage of the opponent’s skid. “Edi maglaro tayo, ‘yan ang binigay sa atin and we are very, very happy.”
Midway through the match, NU’s underperforming veterans Myla Pablo and Jaja Santiago were taken out of the equation by head coach Roger Gorayeb out of frustration.
On following suit and benching an on-point Kathy Bersola, Yee shares, “We anticipated na ibabalik si Jaja bigla. I’d rather have an energetic Kathy pag nandyan na ang energetic Jaja.”
Due to the back-to-back wins, UP is on the right path to ending a 12-year drought of not making it to the post-season.
Yee, who is on his 3rd year of being at the helm for UP, could not hide the satisfaction he felt after seeing the Lady Maroons’ dominance.
“We are on a high. First time naming tinalo ang NU. Significant ito na nasa 3rd tayo,” shared the coach. “Masayang masaya kami. And then ‘yung UP community at least light ‘yung mood, ‘yung moment. ‘Yung support nila nandyan.”
Though UP also had a good Round 1 showing back in Season 77, the coach thinks this year and last year’s campaigns have major differences.
“Last year kasi, by accident na nandun kami. Result ng other games ng other teams,” he said. “This time, we try to win games na kami ang nag posisyon sa sarili namin doon. Hindi ‘yung napadpad lang kami dun.”
Careful not to get overwhelmed with the win, Yee closed by saying that the war is obviously far from being won.
“Hindi natin alam kasi matagal pa ito. 7 games more so mahabang mahaba pa. Hindi natin alam kung makakakapit tayo ng Final Four. At least this is the right step forward,” he shared. — By Mac Dionisio