JAJA Santiago is confident National University can maintain top spot through the eliminations, showing resilience and ending the first round of the UAAP women’s volleyball with a big win.
“Towards the second round, hindi ko nakikita 'yung team ko na pababa. Mas nakikita ko 'yung team ko na paakyat,” she said.
Out of the semis places the past two seasons, the Lady Bulldogs seem on track for the Final Four this time with a 6-1 first-round win-loss record, their best start in four years.
NU started the season with five straight wins before Far Eastern University halted its run but ended the first round with a straight-set win over University of the Philippines on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
“Sa akin kasi, sa nakikita ko sa team namin ngayon, mas malaki 'yung inimprove namin kaysa noong dati,” said Santiago.
“'Yung new system ni coach (Babes) na inimplement sa amin, sobrang nakikita ko na talagang andoon na, nage-engage na talaga 'yung lahat,” she added.
Still, Santiago warns teammates about complacency as they start the second round with a match with titleholder La Salle.
The Lady Bulldogs were the first to deal the Lady Spikers their first loss of the season and Santiago is bracing for a much tougher Lady Spikers side in the second round.
“‘Yung round 2, back to zero naman talaga 'yan, marami pang magbabago. Kailangan i-expect pa rin ng team namin na babawi at mas lalakas pa 'yung mga makakalaban namin, at magbabago sila ng strategy,” she said.