“Masakit sa bangs.”
It’s the first words University of Santo Tomas coach Odjie Mamon could utter after the Tigresses collapsed and bowed to University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 25-11, 20-25, 25-16, 18-25, 11-15, in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Valentine’s Day.
A flocked of sportswriters waited for the veteran mentor outside the team’s locker room at The Arena in San Juan shortly after the game, and upon seeing them, Mamon kiddingly shoo the scribes away.
“Wala sa hinagap ko ito, (ang expected ko) mananalo kami,” he admitted, while trying to hit one writer with a heart at the tip of the stick.
Mamon said he could do only so much from the bench as he watched one of his players became ‘ineffective’ and the team committed crucial errors during the crucial part of the game that gave the Lady Maroons the chance to pull away and win.
“Heto lang, walang contribution si Jessey (de Leon),” he said. “Hindi na siya kasing effective sa first, second, and third pagdating ng fourth set, so nag stop na ang contribution niya.”
The UST mentor was likewise obviously upset with the total 29 errors committed by the Tigresses, including eight in the fifth and deciding set and four from the service line -- a far cry from their flawless service attacks in the first set which they easily won.
“Tapos ‘yung mga crucial errors namin at crucial parts ng set, hindi lang ng entire match, nagdikit-dikit ang errors namin at nagsunud-sunod ang points ng kalaban,” he added.
“I called a timeout then two service aces ng kalaban,” he lamented.
Owing to the loss, UST fell to sixth spot with a 5-8 win-loss card that endangered the school’s shot for a Final Four berth.
In contrast, UP climbed at fifth spot with a 5-7 slate next to National University and Adamson (5-6), semifinalists La Salle, (11-1) and Ateneo (12-0).
Mamon could only hope for the best as UST chance to make the Final Four chance is already out of its control.
UST needs to win over University of the East on Saturday in its last elimination round game, and then rely solely on the outcome of the other matches involving the teams still in the running for a semis berth.
“Wala na. Ang gagawin na lang namin we have five days, Monday to Friday, kung ano ang kontrolado namin which is to win the game against UE and then dasal na lang,” he said.
“Sabi ko nga (sa mga players), o ‘yung malalakas kay St. Jude dyan, ‘yung malalakas kay Poong Nazareno sige na (dasal na),’ he added.