WITH Risa Sato as skipper, National University is learning discipline the Japanese way, and interestingly, a bit of Thai influence has also made it to the Lady Bulldogs camp.
Coach Norman Miguel lauded the Fil-Japanese middle-blocker not only for her opening-day numbers — Sato scored 17 in NU’s five-set win over University of Sto. Tomas — but also for her work ethic that has rubbed off on her teammates.
“Nung ginawa naming team captain si Risa. Nagbigay siya ng sistema sa team namin, sa part ng coaching staff nababawasan yung trabaho namin when it comes to yung pagdidiscipline ng mga bata,” Miguel said.
“Being a Japanese player, little by little nag-iinput siya ng sistema ng how to be disciplined like a Japanese player.”
“Organized lahat ng kilos namin sa team at siya ang naginstill non pati yung pag-iingay sa training, the typical Japanese training,” he added.
Ineligible last season due to academic deficiency, Sato is grateful to be given the captaincy and is pleased the young Lady Bulldogs are responding well as she takes charge.
“Eye to eye lang,” said Risa Sato when asked to explain how she communicates with her teammates, adding that one smile serves as reminder to keep calm: “Laban ka at kontrolin sarili and enjoy the game.”
“Kanina sobrang excited ko po. Parang di ako tahimik. Gulo gulo ko kanina. Siyempre senior na ako kaya ginuide ko bawat move ng team,” she said.
The 25-year-old Sato, also a mainstay at Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League, has also taken a leaf out of Tai Bundit’s playbook when it comes to directing players.
“Kailangan talaga ako magwork and pag kinakabahan sila. Ako na ang lalapit, ‘happy, happy’ and smile ang sasabihin ko lang sa kanila.”