WHILE University of the Philippines skipper Tots Carlos admitted she was surprised with University of the East’s fine opening-day performance, Lady Maroons coach Godfrey Okumu said he expected it.
The Lady Red Warriors gave the Lady Maroons a huge scare before bowing in five on Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan City.
Okumu said UE is much tougher with the improved play of Kath Arado.
“We’ve always struggled with UE. I remember last season I was sitting here the same way we won against them. When we played in the PSL we won 3-1 but it was all struggle,” Okumu said.
“They have a good libero, she’s doing a good job. We have to accept that it’s very hard to play against a very strong defense. We have to think on how we will execute in spiking. They played well and they are a good team. They’re not an easy team.”
Carlos, who scored 17, said no team can be taken lightly this season.
“Ito talaga ang unpredictable na season kasi siyempre nagulat din kami kasi sobrang gandang ipinakita ng UE,” Carlos said.
“Iba kasi talaga kapag mayroon kang first ball eh. Sobrang galing ni Kath kaya medyo nahirapan kami kaya medyo nag-lay low din kami sa defense namin so nahirapan kami lalo na laging nagi-struggle ang setter kaya nahihirapan din siyang mag-distribute.”
Molde, who unloaded game-high 23 points, agreed.
“Siyempre naga-adjust din sila sa amin. And lumakas din naman sila compared last season,” Molde said. “Lalaban at lalaban din naman sila kasi may iba sa kanila na ga-graduate na eh.”