IT was unusual for coach Kungfu Reyes to emerge from the UST dugout calm and collected while coming fresh from a loss.
But to the surprise of many, the Tigresses coach was composed while doing a post-game interview just hours after his team went down against unbeaten Ateneo, 25-17, 16-25, 17-25, in Game One of their best-of-three semifinals series in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Collegiate Conference Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
Although it took an hour and a half before the door of the UST dugout opened, Reyes dismissed the thought he gave his players a mouthful.
“Wala, hindi ako nagalit sa kanila, hindi ko sila pinagalitan, kalma lang,” he said. “Uplift namin ang sarili namin ganoon na nga sinapit namin. Good ambiance kami sa loob. Kumain lang kami tapos nag-usap usap. Pinag-usapan namin ang para bukas (Game Two).”
Reyes said the long hours inside the dugout was more of a post-game huddle because the Tigresses tried to work on communicating inside the court, which what they lacked in their series opening loss.
“’Yung simpleng, 'o, I got your back' sabay tapik sa kasama, 'yung mga salita na, 'i-spike mo lang pag ano coverage ako sa likod mo', 'yung mga ganon ba na assurance mo sa teammates mo na magtutulung-tulong kayo,” he stressed.
None from the Espana-based squad scored finished in double figures as EJ Laure top scored with just nine points.
UST will try to extend the series to a rubber match when the Tigresses face anew their formidable opponent on Sunday.
“Wala na kaming practice bukas, pahinga na lang. More on pahinga na kami bukas and 'yung state ng mind nila na tomorrow may panibagong laro pa,” said Reyes.