COLLEGE of Saint Benilde head coach Jerry Yee didn’t feel awkward in facing his former team, University of the Philippines, as he keeps his focus on helping the Lady Blazers reach NCAA form in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Season 2 Collegiate Conference.
“Okay lang, normal, kumbaga players mo sila dati friends pa rin naman tayo so wala lang,” said Yee after his Blazers lost to the Lady Maroons, 24-26, 25-27, 27-29, on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
Isa Molde, who nailed the clutch hits for UP and finished with 18 points including 11 digs, was happy to meet his former coach who had handled the UP standout since their days at Hope Christian School.
“Parang happy ako for him kasi siyempre may Benilde na siya and for sure lalakas ‘yan knowing coach Jerry,” Molde said. “Wala naman siyang sinabi, smile lang. Hindi naman ako nanibago kasi nasanay na ako kay coach (Godfrey) Okumu.”
The former UP coach, who faced the Lady Maroons for the first time since he resigned last year, sees a bright future for his former team in UAAP Season 81 next year.
“Loaded sila sana. Sa tingin ko ah, maganda ‘yung lineup nila for me at least maganda ‘yung pagpasok nila ng UAAP season,” Yee said. “ Sa tingin ko magiging competitive sila if maayos ‘yung programa, maayos ‘yung training, very competitive come UAAP.”
But now that his focus is on St. Benilde and the team's NCAA campaign, Yee was contented on on how the Lady Blazers have been putting a gallant fight against UAAP teams like UP in their preseason buildup.
“Half empty, half full. I mean okay na siguro we’re starting from that point hindi galing sa babang baba nevertheless ‘yun nga problempa rin ‘yung kailangan i-solve trabaho lang,” he said.
Although it would have been better if they managed to upset at least one of the four UAAP teams in the Collegiate Conference to have a better chance of entering the semifinals.
“Ayaw na natin ng moral victory pero ‘yun nga working hard naman ‘yung girls,” he said. “So buti pinapahirapan namin sila pero ‘morale victory pa rin ‘yun eh so they would have got a win pero wala eh. Hindi na bale go lang.”
Their fate of entering the semifinals is not in their hands anymore as the Blazers reeled to a 1-4 win-loss record.
But for Yee, regardless of their destiny, he wants his wards to get victories on their last two matches against NCAA rivals San Sebastian College on Sunday and University of Perpetual Help on August 25.
“Tuloy lang may sariling battle naman kami for ourselves so pagka makukuha namin ‘yung last two games at least meron kaming sariling barometer sa NC at least alam namin ‘yung standing,” he said.
“We would have wanted a win kahit sa isang UAAP team para makapasok sa top four kung saka sakali pero kung wala na ‘yun it doesn’t matter kumbaga ‘yung two games gusto pa rin namin kunin," the CSB coach added.