UP Lady Maroons hoping, praying for La Salle victory to avoid pressure-laden playoff
Coach Jerry Yee and his Lady Maroons squad featuring rookies led by Diana Carlos are hoping to avoid a playoff for a semifinal berth. Dante Peralta

THEIR playoff fate still uncertain, University of the Philippines coach Jerry Yee is hoping La Salle would help ease the pressure off his young Lady Maroons and allow them to take the easier path to the Final Four.

A win by the La Salle Lady Spikers over the National University Lady Bulldogs in the final match of the eliminations on Wednesday will give UP the No. 4 spot in the semifinals.

Victory by National U, on the other hand, will set up a Lady Bulldogs-Lady Maroons playoff for the last semis berth.

"We're going to pray muna na La Salle beats NU kasi ang sakit ng playoffs na 'yan," said UP coach Jerry Yee.

The game has no bearing for La Salle,which can’t move up the standings as Ateneo earlier locked the top spot. But the Lady Spikers wouldn’t want to enter the semifinals with back-to-back losses.

[See Ateneo Lady Eagles score vengeful win over La Salle, clinch top seeding in UAAP playoffs]

La Salle also hopes to address some issues they had in the Ateneo match.

[See La Salle coach laments win that got away because of too many unforced errors]

Yee says the rookie-laden UP squad is feeling the pressure, and even the more experienced players are looking shaky as they enter uncharted territory.

"Weird ang kilos natin kasi we practiced normal, we practiced with extra care, we practiced with intensity but then again pagdating na ng game iba na talaga eh," he added.

"So wala akong ibang explanation na makita except  baka 'yun na nga napa-pressure ang mga bata kasi doon tayo babalik sa salitang bata."

[See UP Lady Maroons dominate UST Tigresses, earn at least a playoff for Final Four berth]

He noted he wasn’t very pleased with the last elims match against UST, which had already been eliminated. It would be double the pressure against a team like National U.

"So ganun din ulit na naman 'yan. Ang hirap i-pickup ng mga bata, ang hirap nila simulan i-start up kung baga," he said.

"May seniors tayo but then sometimes we forget na 'yung mga seniors natin never pa rin naman napunta sa ganitong sitwasyon so wala naman tayong seniors na aasahan," he said.

"Seniors natin sila na mature sila, iga-guide nila tayo, pero pagdating sa loob ng court parang lost din sila.”

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