UAAP Volleyball

‘Mentally down’: Dongallo shakes off Yee suspension, focuses on improving UE fortunes

JR Isaga

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‘Mentally down’: Dongallo shakes off Yee suspension, focuses on improving UE fortunes

FOR COACH JERRY. UE spiker Casiey Dongallo wears a wristband to show support for coach Jerry Yee.

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Wearing a wristband to show support for her embattled coach, UE super rookie Casiey Dongallo hopes to regain her mental focus after the UAAP's stunning season-long suspension of Jerry Yee

MANILA, Philippines – The UAAP certainly picked a bad time, at least for the UE Lady Warriors, to hand out their season-long suspension to head coach Jerry Yee.

Mere hours before UE took on Yee’s former team Adamson Lady Falcons, the league officially handed down its stunning decision while Yee himself was in a separate venue outside the Mall of Asia Arena talking to reporters about the development.

Although the players and the remaining coaching staff were already given a heads-up, the side effects of the off-court development were still evident on the taraflex, as Adamson rolled over UE with back-to-back 25-19 routs and eventually prevailing in an extended fourth frame, 29-27.

For Lady Warriors super rookie Casiey Dongallo, the announcement certainly played a part in her team’s lethargic start.

“As [interim coach] Doc [Obet Vital] pointed out, we were mentally down in the first and second set. That was certainly one big added burden in our minds,” she lamented in Filipino.

“But as the game flowed, the coaches did not lack in reminders for us to set that aside. We just had to play our game especially in the third and fourth sets, where we were able to do just that. Still, we fell short.”

To the Lady Warriors’ credit, they indeed stepped up in the latter frames, stealing a 28-26 decision to stay alive in the third, before almost pulling off a fifth-set decider in a thrilling finish, 25-19, 25-19, 26-28, 29-27.

Also catching fans’ attention were the UE players’ accessories during the game – an assortment of armbands, muscle tapes, and wrist guards that have “Coach Jerry” scribbled on them.

Dongallo, far and away the league’s leading scorer with a 27 points per game average, added 26 more to her fast-growing tally as a small silver lining to UE dropping its third straight close game.

Moving forward, given the fact that Yee may still lead practices away from game arenas, Dongallo hopes that she and her teammates could break out of this slump soon – both standings-wise and mentally speaking.

“It’s not like we can just forget what happened this game, but I think we just have to move forward, give it all in training, fix what needs to be fixed, especially our mental state,” she continued.

“We really need to get our minds back in the game, as it was clear that we were affected with what happened to coach Jerry.” –

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