ADUKE Ogunsanya and Michelle Cobb are determined to show the way for eight rookie teammates in UAAP Season 82 as De La Salle seeks redemption after bombing out in the Final Four stage last year.
The Lady Spikers failed to reach the UAAP Finals for the first time in a decade after losing to a twice-to-beat University of Santo Tomasside led by reigning MVP Sisi Rondina and rookie sensation Eya Laure.
Ogunsanya said her team has moved on and learned its lessons from that setback.
“Whatever happened last season was an eye-opener for us na hindi kami dapat nagse-settle for ganun lang, mas intense pa, mas kilalanin pa yung isa’t isa,” said the Lady Spikers' graduating team captain.
”Kasi naramdaman namin last season na hindi kami ganun kabuo, so I think nag-translate lang siya sa loob ng court.”
Ogunsanya said the Lady Spikers won't settle for anything less than the title.
“We want to get the championship this season kasi andami naming napagdaanan,” the middle blocker said. “It’s our way of giving back to the community din, for our coaches and for everyone na sumusuporta samin.”
Ogunsanya, Michelle Cobb, Tin Tiamzon and CJ Saga as well Jolina Dela Cruz and Marrione Alba are the holdovers in a team heavy on newcomers like Thea Gagate, Leila Cruz and Justine Jazareno.
Cobb is taking it upon herself to lead by example.
“As the older one, yung major goal namin is hindi sila mapapariwara doon sa sistema na kung anong meron kami,” the fourth-year setter said. “Palaging sinasabi ni coach as long as you’re in the system, as long as you’re working towards one goal, walang mangyayaring masama. Basta andun ka lang sa sistema.”
“Importante kasi yung healthy relationship namin, like komportable kami, kilala namin yung isa’t isa para mag-manifest siya inside the court,” she added.
Ogunsanya is glad to see the eagerness of her teammates — even the rookies — to rise from last year’s disappointment.
“Nakikita ko sa mga teammates ko na willing sila to sacrifice and to solve whatever problems kasi makikita mo yun sa mga mata nila na gusto nila yung ginagawa nila,” she said.
Cobb agreed: “Very high potential. I mean always naman, we always strive and we always never settle for anything less.”