UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas coach Odjie Mamon made no effort to sugarcoat his frustration over his senior players' play in the Tigresses' loss to Ateneo in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday.
After an emphatic 25-11, 25-12, 25-14 opening win over University of the East, UST has dropped three successive games to La Salle, 23-25, 25-27, 17-25; University of the Philippines, 24-26, 25-23, 20-25, 17-25; and the Lady Eagles, 21-25, 13-25, 19-25.
While EJ Laure and fellow freshmen Mary Pacres, Cherry Rondina, and Alyssa Alterado and setter Sarah Verutiao have played well for the Tigresses, Mamon made it clear he isn't happy with the performances of his senior players.
“Mababa talaga ang laro,” said Mamon without mentioning names. “Nawala sa focus ‘yung mga seniors and lumabas ‘yung pagiging competitive ‘yung mga rookies from Game One hanggang sa Game Four.”
Worse, Mamon was clearly irked by what he was said was the senior players' seeming 'indifference' in the face of the Tigresses' three-game skid.
“Dapat ‘yan may epekto ‘yan and the seniors should realize it,” said Mamon. “Kaya lang kung titingnan mo ‘yung mukha nila sa labas ng court, tanggap nila eh. Ibig sabihin, kumbaga wala lang sa kanila na they’re not performing well.”
“And that’s bad news for them (seniors) and it’s very bad news for UST talaga so kung akala nila walang epekto 'yun, meron,” he added.
“I have five days to work with the seniors and bring back their confidence. Definitely itong game na ito non-factor sila or ‘di kaya negative factor sila. So bibigyan ko sila ng time to meditate tomorrow, magmuni-muni sila where do they stand in this UAAP campaign.”
The lanky coach said he is at a loss on what's wrong with his seniors.
“Wala lang I don’t know, ‘Coach gusto ko naman po maglaro,’ that’s the answer they gave me,” said Mamon. “Hindi ko sila kasama 24/7, I don’t monitor their free time. Ako ang suspetsa ko whatever they're doing sa free time is affecting their performance.”
But Mamon is not yet in panic mode, saying he remained positive the Tigresses can win five or six of their last 10 games in the elimination round to make it to the Final Four.
“Hindi pa naman panic mode,” he said. “This is our fourth game pa lang. We’re down 1-3, I think we need to win five games or six more game doon sa last 10 games namin para maka-assure naman kami na kasama kami doon (sa Final Four).
"Siguro kung nauubusan na lang kami ng games, medyo doon panic panic na.”
UST has one more game before the year ends- against Adamson on December 13.