NEW players from Iriga-Navy nearly stunned Ateneo-Motolite during their match in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
Before the game started, Lady Eagles coach Oliver Almadro noticed something as his wards became uneasy when they saw Army players Nene Bautista, Joanne Bunag, and Tin Agno warming up for the Lady Oragons.
“Yes, sa umpisa pa lang noong nag-warm up. Ang masakit kasi, ako I don’t mind, the problem kasi sa paligid ‘yung mga (sinasabi ng tao na) ‘Uy, uy!’. So ‘yung mga players even though wala naman silang pakialam doon syempre (psychologically naapektuhan sila),” he said after they win the match, 25-19, 29-27, 25-14,.
The outspoken mentor further explained that although he tried to talk to his players to just focus on the game, he cannot control what was running through their minds.
“Yeah, we’re surprised kasi ‘yung review namin hindi kasi sila so pagdating dito iba and kilala ng mga players ‘yung mga ‘yun eh, kilala nila si Bunag, si Nene, si Agno. So (sabi nila), coach paano ‘yan?” he said.
“I just told them to play the right way kung sa umpisa medyo nag-iisip and then pagdating nga ng second set, iba na ‘yung katapat namin, iba na ‘yung naaral namin but sabi ko nga just be responsible,” he added.
Their unfamiliarity with different foes became visible when Ateneo-Motolite trailed, 5-17, in the second set.
Iriga-Navy kept a comfortable lead, 20-12, before the Lady Eagles squad cruiesd to a 12-0 run to snatch the lead and reach set point, 24-20.
However, the Lady Oragons held on to push the Lady Eagles to their limits but Almadro was pleased with how his team handled the situation.
“I’m happy with the way they are communicating and trusting each other and ‘yun ang importante, they really trusted each other in this game,” said Almadro.
“I hope from that kind of situation matuto kami kasi the players they just play but sometimes they forget to (think) na may matututunan pala kami dito, anong character ang ang matututunan,” he added.
Ateneo-Motolite improved to 3-1, tied with Pocari Sweat and Creamline.