UE absorbed its 53rd consecutive loss Saturday night, but coach Francis Vicente sounded less depressed this time after seeing his wards put up a semblance of a fight against UST in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament.
“Malapit na nila maintindihan,” said a hopeful Vicente a few moments after the Lady Warriors bowed to the Golden Tigresses, 17-25, 23-25, 16-25, at the FilOil Flying V Center.
“Of all the trials they had already, malapit na nila maintindihan yung mga lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila,” he added. “I just hope they will maintain that. Whether win or lose, kailangan nandoon pa rin yung spirit ng isang tunay na manlalaro na kung gusto mong manalo, dadating yun e.”
The Recto spikers actually held the lead in the 2nd set, reaching both technical timeouts first.
For Vicente, it is a positive sign, especially because UST was coming off a giant-sized takedown of La Salle — the only team to beat back-to-back defending champions Ateneo so far.
“Yung 2nd set, that’s UE,” he noted. “Yun yung sinasabi ko na dapat ilabas nila. So dun natalo sila because of lack of maturity sa game.”
Nonetheless, Vicente wants the Lady Warriors to further improve as they eye to break a losing streak that spans through 4 seasons.
“Ayaw kong sabihing masaya, kasi pag sinabi kong masaya, baka maging complacent na naman,” he said. “I am still pushing. I’ll push them to their limits.”
With UE facing FEU next, Vicente is a little optimistic they are nearing the end of their fruitless run.
“Pwedeng mangyari (na manalo). Kahit sabihin natin na nasa top for yung FEU, pipilitin nating makakuha ng kahit ng dalawa or tatlong set para makuha yung laro.” — By Arylle Magtalas