ANTIPOLO CITY — De La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus rued the poor service of the Lady Spikers after falling to University of the Philippines in three sets in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Center.
The Lady Maroons swept the Lady Spikers in their head-to-head matchup in the elimination round with a 16-25, 24-26, 19-25 decision, becoming the first team to sweep La Salle since Ateneo de Manila did it last Season 79 elims.
De Jesus lamented on the team’s 17 service errors of their total 37 miscues. with five coming from Lourdes Clemente, who served the ball way off the mark that put UP at match point, 24-19, in the third set.
“Siguro unang-unang gagawin namin, mag-serve ng buong practice. So yun ang problema eh, yung pinaka-basic -- mag-serve,” De Jesus said.
“Sabi ko naman sa kanila, hindi kalaban ninyo ang magpapanalo sa inyo, kayo ang magpapanalo sa sarili niyo. Unang-una siyempre, yung serve,” he added. “Kung mawawalan ka ng tiwala sa serve, eh ano pa yung kaya mong gawin? Dahil sarili mo na yan eh. Ikaw na yan wala ka namang kalaban sa service line. So malaking factor yun para sa team na ganoon ang naging performance, lalo na sa service namin.”
The 11-time UAAP champion coach admitted that his players’ morale was down after the frustrating loss as they also squandered leads especially in the tight second set, losing a 17-12 lead and Jolina Dela Cruz committing a crucial service error that put UP at set point before Jessma Ramos gave her team a two-set lead.
“Lalo na noong second set, almost panalo na kami noon. Parang nag-lead kami, kumuha kami ng advantage, two points or three points. Tapos biglang magtatapon ng serve pagka pa-end game,” De Jesus said. “Malaking bagay yun. Kung nakuha namin yung second set, baka maiba yung resulta ng third set, umabot ng fourth set, umabot possible ng fifth set.”
“Kaya lang eh hindi naka-survive noong second set eh. Yun ang malaking factor na hanggang sa third set, dala-dala pa rin ang mga errors na yun. Hindi nakarecover, hindi nakabalik yung confidence. Medyo mabigat,” he added.
As La Salle suffered its third loss of Season 81— first time since Season 79 — falling in a triple tie with UP, UST and FEU with identical 5-3 win-loss records, De Jesus thinks his wards were not in the proper mindset against the Lady Maroons.
“Mindset na lang eh. Kasi hindi naman, wala akong nakikitang bagong ginawa ng UP eh,” he said. “So yung mga bata lang, andoon naman yung game plan pero hindi nakasunod. May mga oras lang talaga na nawalan ng tiwala sa sarili. So yun lang, wala akong nakitang bago sa ginawa ng UP.”
The longtime La Salle coach is asking his veteran players led by skipper Des Cheng, Clemente, Aduke Ogunsanya and Michelle Cobb to take responsibility for the team in their next games and lead by example, especially in the service line.
“Well actually yung mga veterans ang mga medyo nag-wala kanina eh, sila Lourdes Clemente, sila Aduke. Even si Des Cheng na best server last year, yung crucial part na magse-serve, naitapon pa eh,” De Jesus said.
“Kasi yung two straight wins namin, malaking bagay yun kasi expected ko nga andoon na yung pagiging matured nila maglaro eh. So hindi pa lumabas. Baka naghahanap ng magli-lead sa loob ng maayos na leader.”