Fighting Lady Maroons get passing mark from coach despite failing to reach UAAP Final Four
The UP Lady Maroons shed tears after ending their season with a three-set loss to National University. Freddie Dionisio

DESPITE being booted in the fight for the remaining semis berth in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, University of the Philippines coach Gerry Yee couldn’t’ ask for more from the fighting Lady Maroons.

The Diliman-based school was showed the door on Sunday by National University, 21-25, 15-25, 16-25, at The Arena in San Juan that put an end to its season that saw UP closed out its campaign with a 5-9 (win-loss) record.

But seeing the Lady Maroons gave all they got was more than enough to please their coach.

“Every time they (people) ask me, lagi ko lang sinasabi, we will give our best, we will try. Talagang pinipilit naman namin (and I) couldn’t ask for more.’ Yee told a handful of sportswriters shortly after the loss.

UP actually suffered a major setback in its bid midway in the tournament when ace blocker Kathy Bersola went down with an ACL injury last January 8 that kept him out for the remainder of the season.

Even then, Yee gave the team a passing mark considering it became an instant Final Four contender in just a span of 21 months while having three rookies in its roster.  

“Ilang rookies ang nasa line up? We are 21 months into the program, nawala ang haligi namin sa depensa, we are contending for a final four slot after 21 months into the program. Pwede na siguro,” said Yee.

“Hindi ko na mapiga eh kawawa na ‘yung mga bata nahirapan din, na pressure din,” he added. “Pinilit natin, nagagalit din tayo, obvious naman, pero ok na rin ako sa kanila.”

From someone outside looking in, Bersola said she was proud of what her teammates achieved even though at times she felt like wanting to help them by playing.

“Sobra sobrang proud ako sa kanila,” she said. “Pero minsan naiisip ko ang hirap din pala manood kahit panalo, kahit talo ang hirap pareho. Pero ok lang proud ako sa kanila kasi they fought,” she said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinspin