Pia Cayetano confident Lady Maroons can make it to UAAP finals despite demoralizing loss to Lady Eagles
Pia Cayetano believes the Lady Maroons' straight-sets loss was just a small bump on the road to glory. Dante Peralta

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines alumna Pia Cayetano was the first to lift up the spirits of the Lady Maroons after a demoralizing loss at the hands of Ateneo, 14-25, 19-25, 21-25, in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday.

Cayetano, a former senator and a member of the UP team that last won a UAAP volleyball championship in 1982, joined hundreds of UP fans cheering for the Lady Maroons at The Arena in San Juan but witnessed their team suffer their first loss after starting off with four straight wins.

“Everyone wants their team to win but sometimes there are valuable lessons when you lose,” said Cayetano, who was wearing a maroon shirt to show her support. 

“So that’s how I look at it and that’s what I told them when I went to the dugout just now that learn form this lesson,” she added.

[See Lady Eagles show might, topple erstwhile unbeaten Lady Maroons]

The former member of the national team also encouraged the Lady Maroons that there’s no easy way to success. She pointed out that disappointments and hardships are all part of the journey and the experience as they reach for their goal. 

“There’s never an easy way to get to the championship,” she said. “So it’s part of playing. You can’t win them all. Of course I would have wanted to see them win, but it’s all part of it.”

Still, at 4-1 in the season, Cayetano believes that UP has what it takes to make it to the finals.

The Lady Maroons, who made it to the semis last year before they got booted out by Ateneo, will lean on veterans Nicole Tiamzon, Kathy Bersola and Pia Gaiser with third year Marian Buitre and Ayell Estranero and super sophomores Diana Carlos, Isa Molde, Justine Dorog and Maristela Layug.

“This is the strongest UP team that has the chance to go the finals,” she said. “So I have high hopes to see them in the Finals.”

UP has won the fourth most titles in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament with eight championships, next to La Salle with nine, University of Santo Tomas with 14 and Far Eastern University with 29.  

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