De Jesus: La Salle still looking for leadership

ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines – After La Salle absorbed another stunning loss to the University of the Philippines (UP),  coach Ramil de Jesus thinks the defending champion Lady Spikers may still be in search of a leader. 

An error-prone La Salle surprisingly showed up, but De Jesus said someone should've stepped up inside the court to help the Lady Spikers turn the game around at the start of their second-round campaign in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament. 

"Well actually yung mga veterans ang mga medyo nagwala kanina eh," said De Jesus after the Lady Spikers got dealt with their third loss of the season. 

"Sila Lourdes Clemente, sila Aduke [Ogunsanya]. Even si Des Cheng na best server last year, yung crucial part na magse-serve, naitapon pa eh. Medyo mabigat iyon."

(Actually, the veterans were the ones who made a lot of errors, like Lourdes Clemente, Aduke Ogunsanya and even Des Cheng, last year’s best server, had a crucial service error. That was costly for us.)

The Lady Spikers, who came from a victory against Far Eastern University (FEU), had a slim 21-19 advantage against UP late in the 2nd set.

But Cheng and Ogunsanya made costly service errors as the Lady Spikers collapsed and yielded to the Lady Maroons, 26-24.

In total, La Salle tallied 37 errors – virtually half of UP’s total points.

"Kasi yung two straight wins namin, malaking bagay iyon kasi expected ko nga nandoon na yung pagiging matured nila maglaro eh. So hindi pa lumabas," said De Jesus.  "Baka naghahanap ng magli-lead sa loob ng maayos, ng leader."

(Coming from two straight wins, I’m expecting that they will play with maturity. But it didn’t happen, maybe they’re still looking for someone who can lead them well, a good leader.)

La Salle also held a 6-2 advantage early in the 3rd frame, but errors continued to frustrate the Lady Spikers as they eventually conceded an 8-7 lead to UP heading to the technical timeout.

Siguro ayun, kung nakuha namin yung 2nd set, baka maiba yung resulta ng 3rd set, ng 4th set, umabot ng 4th set, umabot possible ng 5th set, so mag-iiba ang resulta noon," said De Jesus.

"Kaya lang eh hindi naka-survive noong 2nd set eh. Yun ang malaking factor na hanggang sa 3rd set, dala-dala pa rin ang mga errors na yun. Hindi naka-recover, hindi nakabalik yung confidence. Medyo mabigat.”

(If we could’ve taken that 2nd set, maybe the results would have been different in the 3rd set. Maybe we could’ve forced a 4th and even 5th set. But we didn’t survive the 2nd set because of our errors. Same thing with the 3rd set. We didn’t recover, we didn't get our confidence back.)

The straight-set slump against the Lady Maroons hit the entire La Salle squad emotionally, according to De Jesus.

La Salle, though, has no choice but to go back to the drawing board as it wound up in a four-way tie with FEU, UP, and UST with a 5-3 card.

Siguro unang-unang gagawin namin, mag-serve ng buong practice. So yun ang problema eh, yung pinaka-basic – mag-serve.

(We’ll probably serve in our whole practice. That’s our problem, serving. It’s very basic.) – Leigh Nald Cabildo/ Rappler.com