ARELLANO University graduating players CJ Rosario and Danna Henson tearfully accepted the bitter end of their storied collegiate careers after failing to bring the Lady Chiefs back to the Finals of the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.
Henson and Rosario could only concede defeat after the defending champions were easily dethroned by a hungrier College of St. Benilde, 20-25, 22-25, 23-25, on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Spikers will now meet thrice-to-beat San Sebastian in the finals beginning on Tuesday.
“Siguro hindi talaga para sa amin (ang championship),” said Rosario, whose eyes were still teary. “Off night kaming lahat eh. Wala kaming nagawa, hindi namin na-defend (’yung title), tatanggapin na lang namin,”
Last year’s skipper Henson naturally inconsolable after this dispiriting loss.
“Sobrang malungkot, pero ganon talaga eh,” she said. “Hindi ko po alam eh, basta binigay namin ang best namin. Opo, aminado naman ako na nagkulang ako, pero binigay ko ang best ko.”
[See Lady Spikers dethrone Arellano, earn shot at San Sebastian in NCAA finals]
Rosario, who finished with 13 points despite playing with a sprained left foot, said they lost the teamwork that powered their title run last year.
“Parang nagkaroon kami ng problema sa attitude, parang nagkanya-kanya kasi kami kanina,” she said.
But while both of the Lady Chiefs leaders took the blame for their loss, they also noted Menchie Tubiera could have made a difference if only their main hitter wasn't forced to miss the entire season due to a knee injury.
“May time na nararamdaman namin ang absence niya (Tubiera) pero pinipilit namin na ibalewala na wala na siya pero hindi talaga,” said Rosario.