Ateneo or Baste? Shaq delos Santos doesn’t want to ‘pick’ semis foe

Ateneo and San Sebastian lock horns Saturday in a do-or-die battle for the last semifinals spot in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena. 

Both toting 2-3 records, the Lady Eagles and the Lady Stags clash at 6:00pm, with the winner advancing to the Final Four and facing top seed FEU.

With his Lady Tamaraws waiting, does coach Shaq delos Santos prefer to battle a certain team in the next round?

“Wala naman kaming pinipiling kalaban,” he stressed. “Basta paghahandaan namin kung sino kalaban namin.”

Based on their initial matchups in the tournament, the Morayta spikers wouldn’t have to worry a lot about either Ateneo or San Sebastian, as they handily crushed both squads when they first faced each other.

Nevertheless, Delos Santos wants his wards to recognize their rise of late while trying to keep on improving as the playoffs continue.

“Lagi namin sinasabi sa kanila na ‘ibang-iba na kayong maglaro ngayon at kailangan matanggap niyo sa sarili niyo na tumataas na yung level ng laro niyo,'” he emphasized. “Kailangan kilalanin niyo muna yung sarili niyo para makapag-perform ng maayos sa game.”

Star spiker Bernadeth Pons echoes her coach’s statement and added that preparation will be key to beating their opponent in the semis.

“Hindi kami nag-expect pero ginagawa lang namin every game yung best namin, sinasabi sa amin ni coach na kayang kaya naman namin yung mga kalaban kailangan paghirapan every game,” she said. “Semis muna, best of 3 pa naman yun. Kailangan talaga paghandaan namin yung makakalaban namin sa semis.” — By John Chester Fajardo