NATIONAL University looks for a fresh start and a stronger push to the playoffs when it faces listless Adamson University to kick off its second round campaign in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
NU coach Roger Gorayeb believes there's no perfect opponent than the winless Lady Falcons side for the Lady Bulldogs to build on their character building win over the University of the Philippines, 25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 18-25, 15-12 last Sunday.
“Adamson? Good para makabawi kami,” said the veteran mentor, whose wards snapped a three-game losing skid. “Psychologically, maganda ganda but we have to be a different team in the second round.”
“Masyadong critical na ‘yan. We cannot be lacking sa emotions namin,” added Gorayeb.
During their losing streak, the outspoken mentor was lost for words every time he was asked what went wrong on his team. But Gorayeb, who often rued his team’s lack of killer instinct and aggressiveness, urged his wards to put in a lot of effort if they want to reach their goal of reaching the Finals.
“We have to fight with intensity, aggressiveness, with conviction, yan kailangan namin ‘yan,” he said. “We should be a different team if we really want to go to the Finals.”
The Lady Bulldogs will again lean on Jaja Santiago, who currently leads the MVP race after the first round.
However, Gorayeb stressed that it should be a team effort and not just the 6-foot-5 middle blocker who will carry the team.
Adamson, on the other hand, looks to enter the win column after losing all seven outings in the first round.
Meanwhile, Far Eastern University hopes to avenge its first round loss to defending champion La Salle when they square off on Wednesday.
Bernadeth Pons will take the lead for the Lady Tamaraws, who bowed to the Lady Spikers, 27-29, 22-25, 23-25, on February 5.
The fourth year spiker’s all-around game made her the second best player in the league after the first round of eliminations.
Pons has a total of 118 points, from 106 spikes, five blocks and seven service aces, next to Santiago with 128 points.
She also the lone scoring player to be in the top five best diggers with an average of 3.89 dig per set and the third best receiver with 43.71 efficiency rate.
FEU, which came from a four-set loss to UST on Sunday, is on a four-way logjam with UP, UST and NU with a 4-3 win-loss card.
La Salle, on the other hand, saw its three-game winning run come to an end when rival Ateneo pulled off a 26-24, 26-24, 21-25, 25-17 win last Saturday.
The Lady Spikers, including head coach Ramil de Jesus, declined interviews after the loss.