CIGNAL imports Ariel Usher and Amanda Anderson hope skidding HD Spikers regain their lost confidence as they try to finish off the elimination round on a high note in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix.
After a first round elimination sweep 5-0, Cignal came crashing back to earth in the second round with losses in three of four games - the last a 22-25, 14-25, 23-25 setback to Philips Gold on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
“I feel right now a lot of girls in our team are not having confidence in themselves and as soon as they feel the confidence in practice and in the game we’ll start rolling again," said Usher. "It’s literally all confidence right now.”
“I think coming back to the first round we started 5-0 and (in the second round) our first game we lost big, that was kind of a shock to some people and especially just in their confidence and I think that’s the biggest thing right now that’s lacking, the confidence, the way we were not stepping up when we should,” she continued.
“I agree with the (lack of) confidence,” added Anderson. “I mean, our losses are something that we learn from but, you know, really it comes to the playoffs and by that time we have to make sure we know ourselves because we know we’re good enough to be there and for a reason and play to win, don’t play not to lose.”
Already assured of a semifinal berth, Cignal has one more assignment on Monday against winless Meralco but Usher, 24, from Oregon, still believes they need to stay hungry and get back that winning attitude.
“I believe we deserve to be in the semifinals (but) right now we’re just in the in the limbo stage where in we know we can do it but we’re not just executing it in games,” she said. “So I think we just need to continue to practice and run through things so we’ll be confident again and we have to practice and come out as if we’re in the finals because it’s a do or die.”
For Anderson, a former University of Arkansas stalwart, their local teammates need to step up.
In the loss to Philips Gold, only Usher and Anderson came up in double figures with 13 and 14 markers, respectively, while locals Micmic Laborte, Frtiz Gallenero and Cherry Vivas combined for only 13 points.
“It is a problem, we can only do so much,” she said. “We’ll take on that role that where our job is, we do need to lead the team but again it really does go back to confidence.”
“Because for me we have the best locals, we have good digging, we have good offense, we have good setting, we have all the tools we need so we just have to remember that every girl in this team was chosen to be here they did not just fall in and play volleyball,” she added.