WITH the semis chances out of her team’s control, University of the Philippines skipper Kathy Bersola instead chose to focus on what the Lady Maroons gained in their Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference stint.
UP participated in all three of the V-League’s conferences this season, where the Lady Maroons even finished third in the Collegiate conference. The graduating middle blocker considered the off-season tournament as a gauge of their readiness for the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament, which is just two months away.
“(We realized na) sobra pa naming pwedeng i-improve and sobra pa namin pwedeng matutunan. Ang dami pa naming pwedeng baguhin, ang dami pang tinuturo ni coach sa amin na kailangan naming intindihin at ipakita sa game,” she said.
“So ayun, parang from the three conferences, magandang experience siya for us and nakita natin ang development ng mga plays namin and connections nga ng mga tao sa loob, hindi lang ng setter-spikers kundi ng lahat. And going into UAAP all in all, maganda siyang buildup for us,” Bersola added.
The Lady Maroons ended their elimination round with a 3-4 win-loss record but their chance of making it to the Final Four is no longer under their control.
UP won in straight sets over Philippine Air Force, 25-16, 25-20, 25-10, on Monday at the PhilSports Arena and the win gave Pocari Sweat (4-1) automatic entry to the semis along with early semifinalist University of Santo Tomas (5-1).
Meanwhile, Bali Pure (3-1) and Bureau of Customs (3-2) are within striking reach of semis berths as both teams will face listless Philippine Coast Guard in their remaining games. If Bali Pure and BoC wins their fourth match, they will earn the last two semis spots and leave UP out.
“Up and down talaga siya eh,” Bersola recalled of their stint in this conference. “Parang ‘yung mga wins namin maganda, tapos ‘yung mga losses namin ang pangit talaga.”
“Medyo process pa siya for us. Ma-polish nga ang mga technical skills namin sa game and chemistry kasi nga bago ang setters and ayun naka-build naman kami ng confidence from this conference, even though may mga loss kami na nahirapan kami na mag-move on from those kasi nga mahirap talaga,” she added.