While UST’s women’s volleyball team is starting to see a silver lining in Season 78, it is a different scenario for head coach Odjie Mamon and his Tiger Spikers.
With a 1-4 record, the España squad is currently tied with La Salle in 6th place, a far cry from the team’s Final Four finish back in 2015.
In attendance during UST’s tough loss to arch rival FEU was former King Tiger JP Torres who can’t help but relay his disappointment over the team’s poor showing.
“Siyempre as a former player ng UST and as a senior nila talagang nakaka-disappoint kasi inaasahan ko na makakaya nila talunin ‘yung FEU,” he told FOX Sports.
It has been almost 4 years since Torres last donned the UST jersey but the legacy he and his teammates left continues to resonate in the PH volleyball scene after completing a 4-peat from Season 70-73.
Asked what he thinks the current batch is lacking, the former MVP pointed out how the boys off España seem to be resting on their laurels.
“Kulang sila ng tapang,” he shared.
“Tsaka wala pa akong nakikita sa kanila na umaangat ‘yung laro nila. Kumbaga kuntento na sila kung anong meron sila ngayon,” he added. “Kung ano ‘yung natutunan nila, ‘yun na lang. Hindi na nila tinataas ‘yung sarili nila na kaya pa nilang labanan.”
The departure of another former MVP in Mark Alfafara after Season 77 seems to be taking its toll on UST as it continues to be in a search for the team’s next main gun.
According to Torres, he can sense from afar the disappointment coming from his mentor Mamon, who is responsible for whipping him into the top caliber athlete that he is today.
“Bilang dating coach namin ramdam ko na nafu-frustrate siya tsaka nadi-disappoint siya sa nilalaro ng mga bata,” shared Torres. “Although mukha siyang masaya pero sa damdamin niya talagang malungkot siya. Sa nangyayari ngayon na isa pa lang panalo nila tapos apat na talo na sila.”
And while some will be quick to point fingers as to who is to blame with regard to the Tiger Spikers’ lackluster performance, Torres pointed out that the difference between the mentality of former and current players could be the reason why the latter are yet to show their full potantial.
“Kasi ang mga bata ngayon, ayaw nang masaktan. Ayaw na nilang masugutan. Sa amin dati, masaktan ka dapat lalo kang tumatapang,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Ngayon, ang mga bata pag nasaktan mas lalong nanghihina. Hindi ko alam kung tama ba ‘yung napuntahan nilang school or mali kasi sa nakikita ko takot sila magkamali,” he added.
“Kailangan lang nila ng confidence. Kailangan nila mag focus kung ano bang strengths ang meron sila ngayon.” — By Mac Dionisio