TEARS flowed as Francis Vicente and the Lady Warriors got big warm hugs from almost everyone on the court — from current and former players, commentators and team officials — as the University of the East hymn rung at The Arena in San Juan.
It felt like a championship, although UE was far from taking home any trophies.
The Lady Warriors on Wednesday afternoon ended a long run of futility after downing a disoriented Adamson Lady Falcons side in straight sets.
That snapped a 58-match losing streak dating to Season 74, almost four years of frustration for UE.
“Parang siguro ’yung feeling ko umiiyak ako. Umiiyak ako kasi masaya ako dahil natigil namin yung 58 games na losing streak tapos straight sets pa,” said Vicente, tearing up as he presided over the post-match conference.
“Hindi sila bumigay hanggang huli noong third set. So ’yun ang nakikita natin nagmamature na ng konti ’yung team eh. So hopefully by next year we’ll be there up there sa standing,” added Vicente, who was hired two years ago.
Vicente said the feeling was much like 2010, when he steered the University of Santo Tomas girls volleyball team to the title.
“Syempre andon ka sa isang skwelahan na ilang taon nang ‘di nananalo ng isang game para kang nanalo ng championship dyan eh,” said Vicente, whose on his second year with UE.
It wasn’t an easy straight-setter, actually, and Vicente quipped that he wanted to get on the court and help as the Lady Warriors piled.
The Lady Warriors overcame three sets points by the Lady Falcons before sophomore middle blocker Roselle Baliton scored on a running spike to push UE at match point and a quick attack to seal the victory.
“Tapos ’yung laro cardiac arrest pa. ’Yun ang pinakamatindi doon eh,” he said. “Atat na atat ka gusto mo ikaw na maglaro doon eh para matapos ‘yung game eh. Nanggigigil ka sa mga error na nagyayari pero normal ’yun eh ang kailangan lang nila ‘yung maturity sa laro na unti-unti nang nagyayari.”