Right mindset will be key for Gizelle Tan in championship round

Gizelle Tan plays what could be the biggest game of her collegiate career Saturday and to counter the pressure of it, the Bacolod native will consider it as just another match. 

“I think it’s overwhelming that I’m playing, pero I’m giving my all,” she told FOX Sports. “It’s normal for me. My mindset is like parang hindi pa nagsi-sink in na finals. I think na typical game na I won’t feel the pressure at all.”

“Si coach Tai naman he trains us. He puts pressure on me para I can handle it when the time comes. I just think positive that I can dig it when the ball comes to me,” she added.

Tan, who will be seeing major minutes in a UAAP finals series for the first time, believes it will be a tight matchup. And while La Salle has the advantage in statistics, she says it will boil down to the will to win.

After handily beating UP in the Final Four, the Lady Eagles have been preparing for the finals in the last week. It doesn’t mean, though, that they have had more rest than the Lady Spikers.

“Same lang kasi we train din naman,” she said. “La Salle has more experience with pressure, but we were able to focus on training.”

Tan added the addition of former Adamson mentor Sherwin Meneses to Ateneo’s coaching staff has greatly helped her get ready.

Meneses, who’s known to be the architect of the Lady Falcons’ once-vaunted floor defense, has been with the back-to-back defending champions for less than a month.

“Coach Sherwin is really helpful. We do overload, and he helps us with our form sa receives and sa digs,” she said. “I think kaya naman if I have the right mindset. I think I am ready. Coach Tai trained us well.” — By Arylle Magtalas