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    Despite 1-13 mark, Jumbo believes Lady Warriors earned rivals' respect

    Jun 11, 2022
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    PHOTO: UAAP

    COACH Jumbo Dimaculangan firmly believes University of the East can compete with the best in UAAP women's volleyball.

    "Kinakapos lang," said Dimaculangan.

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    "Basing it on the scores, may mga dikit kasi na sets, dikit na laban na sa dulo lang kami kinakapos. So based on my assessment, siguro longer preparation for the team. Medyo nakulangan din kasi kami ng tao due to injuries so siguro may panghihinayang for the entire season."

    It was a tough run altogether for the Lady Warriors which lost their first 13 matches of the season, 17 counting the previous season, before finally putting those heartbreaks to an end on Thursday with a four-set win over Far Eastern University.

    "At least we ended the season on a high note. At least nakuha talaga yang elusive win na yan," sighed Dimaculangan as UE salvaged its lost season with this lone victory.

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    But rather than dwell on the what ifs, the first-year mentor zoomed in on the positives that the Recto spikers can build on moving forward starting with open spiker Ja Lana.

    "Siya talaga yung anchor ng team since we started because siya talaga yung isa sa naiwan na players from before nag-stop yung UAAP ng pandemic," Dimaculangan said of Lana, who ranked No. 9 among the league's best spikers with 170 points.

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    For her part, the 21-year-old hitter attributed her stellar performance to the trust that the coaches have given to her. Unfortunately, like what her coach said, it's just that UE has always fallen short.

    "Alam po namin sa sarili namin na kayang kaya po talaga namin makipagsabayan," she said. "Nanghihinayang pa rin kami kasi dapat talaga mas may naipakita pa kami sa past few games namin," said Lana.

    Past is past, though, and what's important for the Lady Warriors is how they would pick themselves up in time for Season 85.

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    This solitary win against the Lady Tamaraws should be a start, with Dimaculangan saying, "Malaking bagay talaga itong panalo not just individually but as a team. Bago tayo umuwi at bago tayo magpahinga, may baon tayo na panalo."

    "And then coming to the next season, at least nakita natin na kaya naman. Pero ano yung adjustments na kailangan natin gawin? Ang players, most likely, same set of players dahil halos bata talaga lahat yung team. Hopefully, makakuha kami, if ever, ng mga incoming first year na tamang materyales because you start from there and then you train, then develop the cohesiveness, yung teamwork."

    UE Lady WarriorsUE finishes the tournament with a big win.

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    Despite the losses, Dimaculangan believes that this Lady Warriors squad have earned the league's respect.

    "Happy din kami na it's not the UE Lady Warriors na lagi sinasabi na, 'Ah UE lang yan.' At least ngayon, medyo nakikita naman namin sa mga kalaban namin yung respeto nila, na even though laglag na kami at nasa bottom kami, when we play with other teams and schools, they always put their best six or best seven players."

    Lana feels the same way.

    "Mas nagkaroon po kami ng kumpiyansa ngayon, na kayang-kaya po talaga namin makipagsabayan. Kailangan lang po talaga namin mas maging matapang at matatag po sa loob," she said.

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    PHOTO: UAAP
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