LA Salle coach Ramil de Jesus was man enough to accept his team’s five-set loss against archrival Ateneo, 22-25, 27-25, 25-16, 14-25, 9-15, on Sunday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The eight-time champion mentor said the Lady Eagles dominated them in the attack department and at the same time, the Lady Spikers collapsed in the endgame.
“Talo, talo kami,” were the first words de Jesus uttered upon emerging from the team locker room.
“Dominated kami sa attacks, ‘yun ang nakita kong kailangan ayusin,” he said. “Sa ngayon very confident sila (Ateneo), ‘yun ang nakita ko.”
The Ateneo victory put an end to La Salle’s six-game winning run, even as the defending champions extended their own unbeaten flight (7-0) to grab the solo lead in the standings at the end of the first round of elimination.
The Lady Spikers led two sets to one, but the Lady Eagles took control of the fourth (25-14) and then sustained the momentum until the end.
“Sinabi ko mag-enjoy sila. Siguro totally nag-enjoy kaya sa fourth set kumalas tapos nagtuluy-tuloy na,” said de Jesus.
“Judgement call ‘yun ng referee hindi na pwede habulin sa referee ‘yun,” added the veteran mentor regarding the calls in the fifth set. “So sa ngayon talo talaga kami ‘yun ang masasabi ko kaya kailangan paghandaan ang next games."
The Taft-based school has now lost three in a row to its arch-rival dating back to their title series from last year.
But de Jesus remained positive about his team coming in the second round.
“Mahaba pa naman ang UAAP so na-gauge na namin kung ano siguro ang pagkakamali namin sa next time magigising sila sa pagkakamali,” he said.
The UAAP, meanwhile, will have a week-long break for Pope Francis’ visit.