Although coming from a loss against the Lady Tamaraws in their previous game, NU skipper Jaja Santiago said her team did not feel disheartened at all.
“Actually ‘yung sinabi ko lang sa teammates ko eh ‘yung pagkatalo namin ay hindi ‘yun ‘yung magsasabi sa atin kung ano tayo. ‘Yung pagkatalo nating ‘yun nagsasabi kung paano tayo babawi doon sa pagkatalong ‘yun,” Jaja said in a post-game interview.
According to Jaja, their four-set loss against FEU served as a wake-up call for the team to do better in their next games.
The wake up call did translate in their match against the Lady Maroons today as they scored a resounding straight-set win in just an hour of battle, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17.
Santiago led the team with 17 points off 16 excellent attacks while Risa Sato provided support and chipped in 10 markers.
While the stat sheets say that Jaja scored most of the points for NU, the 6-foot-6 spiker quickly dismissed this and said she has seen improvements when it comes to support from her teammates.
She said the new system implemented by their new coach Babes Castillo greatly helped them individually.
“Pero sa akin kasi sa nakikita ko sa team namin ngayon, mas malaki ‘yung inimprove namin kaysa noong dati. ‘Yung new system ni coach na inimplement sa amin sobrang nakikita ko talagang nandoon na, nag-eengage na talaga ‘yung lahat,” Jaja said.
She added: “Towards the second round, hindi ko nakikita ‘yung sarili ko, ‘yung team ko na pababa. Mas nakikita ko ‘yung team ko paakyat.”
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The Lady Bulldogs first match in the second round could be La Salle and Jaja has this to say: “Actually, magandang laban ‘yung La Salle-NU kung ‘yun ang una. Alam namin na babawi at babawi ‘yung La Salle pero pagtatrabahuhan namin, pagiigihan namin. Laban lang nang laban. Kahit sinong laban, sige fight.”
The Sampaloc-based squad scored an upset against the defending champions in the first round in a five set thriller where Jaja provided most of the scoring loads.
Jaja also said that whoever they face, they just need to focus and be ready all the time.
“Hindi naman namin kailangang mamili ng kalaro kasi lahat naman sila pagdadaanan namin. So, kahit sino mauna kailangan ‘yung attitude mo palaban at ready lang,” Jaja said.
Jaja scored a total of 141 points at the end of first round off which 111 came from spikes alone.