LA Salle coach Ramil de Jesus is fully aware of how big of an opportunity his side squandered in its tough five-set defeat to Far Eastern University on Sunday.
"Malaking bagay talaga," he said as the Lady Spikers missed out from clinching outright the second-seed that comes with a twice-to-beat advantage in the UAAP Season 81 Final Four.
La Salle committed 32 errors, including four in the fifth set that led to their downfall against FEU.
That just won't cut it for de Jesus, who made sure his players understand the golden chance it blew.
"Mabigat, pero kailangan tanggapin. Sila rin naman yung may pagkukulang sa loob kanina eh. Ganoon talaga," he said. "Gusto niyong manalo, pero mas gusto ng FEU manalo. Di natin pwedeng hingiin na wala namang bearing sa inyo, ibigay niyo na lang sa amin. Di naman pwedeng ganoon. Kung gusto niyong manalo, paghirapan niyo. Di matutupad yung four-peat niyo kung ayaw niyong manalo."
What made the defeat tougher was that the Lady Spikers held a two-sets-to-one lead but became wasteful in the final two sets.
"Nakuha na namin yung advantage tapos biglang nag-error yung players, puro errors lang yung nakuha actually. Breaks din talaga. Pagdating ng fifth set, hindi na-sustain eh tapos medyo confident na yung FEU nung fifth set lalo na yung service at receive nila, lalo na at nothing to lose naman talaga kasi sila," he said.
As much as de Jesus is shaking his head on the meltdown, he knows that there's no more time for La Salle to be down and dwell on the loss as it has to make a quick pivot for the playoff for the two-seed on Wednesday against UST.
"Sabi ko nga sa kanila, wag nilang isipin yung pagkatalo ngayon kasi mahirap kung dadalhin mo pa sa Wednesday yung result nitong game. So importante na kung ano yung performance kanina, hindi naman pangit lahat ng nangyari. May mga pangit na desisyon, may maganda rin namang ginawa yung mga bata. So sabi ko, kung ano yung mga maling desisyon na dapat nating iayos, yun yung dapat nating i-connect sa Wednesday," he said.
"Sabi ko kailangan na lang matuto kung ano yung mali natin. Kasi ang nakikita ko sa team, pag nananalo, di ma-sustain, parang nalulula. Kailangan mong gisingin ulit, na masanay ulit na manalo."