LA Salle coach Ramil de Jesus admitted the Lady Spikers are still looking for the leader that could show the way in their quest to regain lost glory in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament.
Speaking after La Salle dropped its first game of the season at the hands of National University, 16-25, 24-26, 25-14, 23-25, on Wednesday, de Jesus rued his team's 31 errors, including 11 in the second set alone, as well as his team’s obvious lack of leadership.
“Siguro hindi pa malaman kung sino ang magli-lead ng team sa ngayon, inconsistent kasi ‘yung leadership na makikita mo sa loob ng court,” said de Jesus, an eight-time champion coach in the college league.
“Minsan kapag nandyan si Ara (Galang), akala nila si Ara pero madami namang seniors sa loob ng court, so mga ganon. Naghahanap lang kung sino ang mag-spark tapos susunod na lang,” he added.
The veteran mentor stressed the team should not rely heavily on Galang, who is recovering from a major knee injury and is not yet in peak form, scoring a total of 33 points in the Lady Spikers' first three matches.
De Jesus pointed to Galang’s fellow fifth-year player Mika Reyes and skipper Kim Fajardo as the two other players who can take the lead for the team.
In their past two games, Reyes had a 13 and 10 points, respectively, in matches against Far Eastern University and University of the Philippines, while Fajardo registered all of the team’s excellent sets of 76.
Reyes, a middle blocker, had 12 points in their most recent outing against NU while the fourth-year setter Fajardo dished out all but one of the team’s 40 excellent sets.
Still, de Jesus wasn’t satisfied.
“Actually dapat nag-step up si Mika Reyes, si Ara alam naman natin anong capacity ni Ara, at isa pa ‘yung team captain si Kim,” he said. “So sa ngayon hindi ko gusto ang nilaro ni Kim, parang mababa ‘yung pinakita niyang performance, leadership wise.”
But de Jesus hopes that his wards have learned a thing or two from the loss to NU heading to their match against Adamson on Saturday.
“(Sana natutunan nila na) ‘wag magpa-intimidate kung nakunan ng set, unang-una 'pag pasok sa court isipin mo nandoon ka para manalo hindi para magpatalo,” he said.
“Kailangan ma-experience nilang matalo para ang mali nila matuto (sila), kasi kung hindi ka magkakamali paano mo malalaman i-correct ang sarili mo, so ‘yun lang ang sabi ko sa kanila,” he added.
“Dalawang bagay lang ‘yan sabi ko, either sumisid kayo or umahon kayo.”