AS soon as Jhoana Maraguinot’s shot sailed out that ended Game Two and the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball title series, La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus ran towards the court and joined his team to celebrate as they picked up their second straight league crown.
It was a rare show of joyful emotion for the usually straight-faced Lady Spikers mentor who won his 10th title in 20 years for the Lady Spikers.
“Siguro sa lahat ng na-form kong team, ito ‘yung medyo roller coaster,” said De Jesus. “Happy. Very happy.”
When asked about his reaction, De Jesus said he reacted that way because he was so happy that a team that he felt was too shallow was able to beat all odds and win the UAAP crown.
“Sobrang babaw ng bench. Nawala halos [key players]. Halos pagtingin mo, wala kang makuha,” said De Jesus.
The Lady Spikers finished with an 11-3 win-loss record in the eliminations, two of which in a sweep of Lady Eagles. But La Salle got payback with a sweep of its own in the finals series against Ateneo.
De Jesus said La Salle stayed the course despite two losses to Ateneo entering the finals series.
“Buong eliminations, ni-rereview namin ‘yung mga games. Nakikita mo ‘yung difference, advantage, at disadvantage ng team. Dun kami nag-focus kung saan kami medyo dehado. Concentrate kami sa training. In-explain ko rin sa players na although mahirap, tanggapin na lang nila,” said De Jesus.
La Salle won Game Two after trailing, 2-1, and winning the final two sets including a 15-10 decision in the final canto. De Jesus was happy his players answered to his call not to allow the series to reach of a rubber match.
“Sabi ko lang, ayoko na umabot ng Game Three. Sabi ko sa kanila, tapusin lang natin at maniwala lang tayo. Kung ano ‘yung gusto ng isa, gustuhin rin ng bawat isang players,” said De Jesus.