Staying alive while shutting the door on their opponents.
That was what NU achieved after turning back UST, 19-25, 25-11, 25-16, 21-25, 15-8, in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
But even if the Lady Bulldogs saw their Final Four hopes live another day, coach Roger Gorayeb showed a bit of frustration post-game.
“Ang daming error e. Error pa rin,” he said. “Bilang namin nung first set, 14 yung unforced errors e. Tapos nung fourth set, 10. Ganun kadami.”
“Ireremind mo lang talaga sila sa mga errors nila. Sabi ko nga, yung kalaban ninyo hindi na kailangang paluin yung bola e. Tayo na mismo yung nagbibigay ng points,” he added.
Jaja Santiago scored 22 points while Myla Pablo and Jorelle Singh added 18 and 15 markers, respectively, as the Sampaloc squad moved to 7-6 — in a tie with UP for fourth place.
In its last game, NU takes on league-leading La Salle and a win — and a loss by the Lady Maroons to UST — will propel the Lady Bulldogs to an improbable semifinal run.
UP battles the Golden Tigresses on April 10 and if the Diliman side emerges victorious, NU would have to win to even force a playoff for the last Final Four seat.
Gorayeb hopes his wards build enough confidence when they face the Lady Spikers on the last day of the elimination round on April 13.
“Kailangan paghandaan. Must-win yun e,” he stressed. “Sana tumaas nga yung kumpyansa nung mga bata. Hindi namin hawak ang aming kapalaran. Kasi kailangan manalo kami sa dulo para lang magkaron ng playoffs. Playoff pa lang yun. Sana maka-boost sa kanila itong dalawang huling panalo.”
“Knowing La Salle, di naman maglalaro yan ng mababa e. Kami naman syempre, obligasyon naming maglaro ng maganda,” the veteran coach said. — By Joyce Palad