Usually coming off the bench, John Philip Yude proved to be a stable presence for Adamson in their Final Four Game 1 upset of NU Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The opposite spiker came in for senior Bryan Saraza in the first set as coach Domeng Custodio needed more hustle from the Soaring Falcons.
Yude quickly delivered, almost helping Adamson snatch the opener before helping them win the next 3 frames.
“Unexpected talaga kasi na-injure ako sa game namin sa UP nung Wednesday, natapilok ako nung fourth set. Di ako nagtraining ng tatlong araw, nung Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” he told FOX Sports. “Kanina tinanong ako ni Coach kung kaya ko, sabi ko coach kaya ko. Kung ipapasok ako, gagawin ko lang kung ano maitutulong ko sa team. Sobrang unexpected and may halong enjoyment yung laro ko kanina.”
Forcing a do-or-die game against last year’s runners-up, the Falcons are aiming for a comeback in the Finals this year.
“Sobrang saya yung naramadaman namin kasi ngayong season, first time naming natalo yung NU,” Yude shared. “Kaya pagdating din kay Coach Domeng, sobrang saya niya kasi yun lang yung hinihingi niya samin na matalo sila para masunod-sunod na namin.”
Yude said beating the Bulldogs, who downed them twice in the elimination round, was not all about power, especially because NU is one of the tallest teams in the UAAP.
The junior spiker said it was more like outsmarting their foes to force a winner-take-all match on Wednesday.
“Inutukan namin sila kasi matatangkad nga sila,” he revealed. “Kung puro kami power tapos di namin gagamitin yung utak namin, walang mangyayari, maba-block lang kami. Ginamit namin yung pagka-beterenao namin kasi alam naming mas bata sila samin.”
Even with limited playing time, the Pampanga native said that he does not worry about it too much. Adding 4 points to help the Falcons in today’s win, Yude also helped in his team’s floor defense.
“Walang kaso sakin yun. Okay lang sakin kasi para naman sa team, hindi naman para sa sarili ko,” he said. “Ginagawa ko lang talaga yung best ko kada-game na ipapasok ako, kahit taga-serve lang naman ako o kahit ano man pinapagawa sakin. Ginagawa ko lang yung role ko para makatulong sa team.” — By Joyce Palad