It’s not about the loss. It’s about the little things that could have tipped the scale in UP’s favor.
This was how head coach Jerry Yee explained his dissatisfaction after his Lady Maroons lost steam after a hot start against the veteran team of La Salle.
“We had a discussion na ayusin ang 1st touches, meaning ‘yung service tsaka ‘yung reception. Obviously, hindi namin naayos,” Yee shared, talking about their goals heading into the matchup.
“Simple sana ‘yung task. ‘Yun ang usapan namin, ayusin ang dalawang areas na ‘yun then okay na tayo manalo o matalo,” added the mentor. “Well, as you saw, hindi namin naayos.”
The inspired play of UP in the opening set was all for naught as the girls off Diliman finished the match with 35 unforced errors, even allowing the Lady Spikers to score 10 easy points from service aces.
This, clearly, is in contrast to Yee’s 2 pointers in order to put up a good fight against last year’s runners-up.
On his wards getting overwhelmed after taking the 1st frame, the mentor shares, “Kasi laging ganun ‘yun eh, you ride on an emotional high and then nagca-crash ka especially sa mga bata. It could be a factor pero 2nd, 3rd and 4th sets marami na dapat kaming time para makapag-adjust.”
“Very, very inconsistent pa kami, Bata pa kami. Kung gusto namin manalo, we have to be better than that,” he added.
Strangely, the Taft squad, who happens to be the best serving team in the league, targeted one of the top receivers in the tournament in Ayel Estranero via sharp and loaded serves.
The strategy was obvious in the stat sheets as Estranero had 50 touches on reception, 26 of which were deemed excellent, giving her more than 50% success rate in receiving the ball.
“Ganun ‘yung ginagawa nila. Kung sino ‘yung inaasahan sa team, they would attack ‘yung star defender mo,” said Yee on La Salle’s strategy. “Nilo-load up nila ‘yung taong ‘yun pwedeng dahil gusto nila pagurin kasi psychologically pag nabreak mo ‘yun broken na ‘yung buong team eh.”
Save for a couple of badly received 1st balls, Yee remained satisfied with how his sophomore spiker-turned-libero handled the situation.
“Okay lang. Ayel mataas naman ang receive rate niya. Nakuha niya naman ‘yung majority of the balls,” he said. “‘Yun lang may mga errors. But ‘yun nga, we didn’t see it that way. In-attack din sila Isa (Molde), Justine (Dorog) and Tots (Carlos).”
“Pero ‘yun nga, as a team, we have to be better sa reception and service. Pag ‘yung dalawa naayos namin, nahirapan din naman sila eh,” he added.
Due to the loss, UP dropped to a 6-4 record which gives the team just a small breathing room for the 3rd spot as FEU, NU and UST are now in a 3-way tie for the 4th place with identical 5-5 records.
Yee might have given his girls the impression that he was not happy with how they played against La Salle but the coach revealed he is still positive with how their 2016 campaign is going so far.
“I didn’t tell them sa locker pero sa akin optimistic ako and I see the areas for improvement,” shared the coach. “For them, hindi ko sinabi sa kanila kasi i wanted the, to feel bad na simple ‘yung mga mali na ikinatalo ng team.”
“Basta right now, very optimistic kami,” he closed. — By Mac Dionisio