UP coach Okumu turns focus on improving defense for 'must-win' match vs Adamson
UP coach Gody Okumu hopes to improve his team's defense in time for the match vs Adamson. Dante Peralta

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines coach Godfrey Okumu instilled a ‘must-win’ attitude on his wards as they face Adamson University in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.

UP kicked off the season with a five-set win over University of the East but three-peat seeking La Salle dealt the Lady Maroons a frustrating straight-set loss on Saturday.

The Lady Maroons and the Lady Falcons are on a three-way tie with Far Eastern University with identical 1-1 cards.

“It’s a game we can’t afford to lose. That’s what I’ll say, we have to go all out, we have to win that game,” said Okumu.

But the Kenyan mentor believes that before they get the win they must focus on their defense more than anything else.

“First, we’re gonna work on our defense especially blocking,” said Okumu. “We couldn’t defend well on the down balls, so most of them were like wipeouts. That’s what we need to work on.”

“The second part is the way we pass,” he added. “If we could get a 100 percent of our passes going to the setter then we could use our middles more often than not. Then we could have better results.”

Okumu also noted that a right mix of veterans and newbies can be his advantage against Adamson, which is loaded with much experienced players like Jema Galanza, Mylene Paat and Fenela Emnas.

“I tried to use my lineup, the bench, and other new players and then I bring in veterans towards the end,” he said. 

“The balance was good, we saw changes, but I believe we can push more. We just need to push, push, push and be more aggressive,” he added.

Okumu will bank on skipper Diana Carlos, who led the team with 19 points in their game against La Salle, along with Isa Molde and Ayel Estranero.

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