EXPERIENCE proved to be the big difference as La Salle reached the Philippine National Games (PNG) women’s volleyball finals after eliminating University of the Philippines on Wednesday.
“Una 'yung karamihan din dito (sa team), mga matured na. Ayan si (Kim) Fajardo, si Yeye (Mika Reyes). So yun na lang siguro yung nagdala,” admitted head coach Ramil De Jesus after the Lady Spikers’ three-set win over the Lady Maroons in the semifinals.
De Jesus also commended his starting six of Fajardo, Reyes, Cyd Demecillo, Christine Soyud, Justine Tiu, and Mary Joy Baron for playing well even while leaving their comfort zones.
"Mabuti nga po yung mga players ko kahit papaano nakakasunod sa job na binibigay ko kahit hindi nila pwesto,” added the La Salle coach.
De Jesus pointed out the PNG campaign would help the Lady Spikers in their preparation for the upcoming UAAP season. La Salle had been in the Finals five straight times, and won the title three consecutive seasons from 2010 to 2012.
"Actually, ito yung mga kailangan namin, pocket tournament na tingin ko makakatulong sa exposure, and then confidence ng mga bata lalo na kapag malayo pa yung UAAP kasi kung pocket tournament, mabilis kaagad yung recovery," said De Jesus.
At the moment, La Salle has six rookies in its lineup, namely May Luna, Norielle Ipac, Gyra Barroga, Aljan Pielago, Tin Tiamzon, and Noreen Gabriana.
De Jesus hopes some of them would be able to play in Season 78 of the UAAP.
"Hopefully meron kasi medyo malayo pa naman e. Siguro after ng New Year, makikita ko na kung sino yung talagang perfect dun sa team."