UP Lady Maroons channel their inner Paul Desiderio in win over UST
MANILA, Philippines – "Atin ito!" (This is ours!)
Even the Paul Desiderio mindset made an impact on the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons in their 4-set victory over the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses on Wednesday, February 23.
The Lady Maroons skidded down to a 4-game losing streak, where they had to experience each one of them in straight sets. History shows that the Lady Maroons would always eventually collapse after taking the lead midway in each set of their previous losses.
"Sobrang importante (ang panalo), sobrang bumaba kami eh. Tsaka sobrang nakakapagod matalo. So kailangan i-defend, kailangan namin lumaban," said Tots Carlos.
(The win is super important, we really went down. And it's super tiring to lose so we really have to defend. We have to fight.)
Carlos exploded with a career-high of 32 points and Isa Molde broke out with 24 points as she continued to raise her level of play since their game against Ateneo.
Head coach Godfrey Okumu also experimented on new rotations in this game, switching around the positions of Rem Cailing and Ayel Estranero. Estranero was the main setter in their game against the Ateneo Lady Eagles, but was given defensive specialist responsibility on Wednesday's game.
As the team members were able to adjust to their respective roles in this game, Okumu was hopeful that this might be the "missing piece" in their games.
"I tried it in the last game and we thought it would work, and I believe it will continue working because it's like having two liberos on the court and two setters at the same time," said Okumu.
Aside from improving their struggling defense, the top scorers Carlos and Molde would have to do their part to lift the Lady Maroons from their 2-4 start to this season.
"Kailangan naming tanggapin (ang role namin) eh kasi wala namang iba. Si Ayel defense and [setting], sino pa bang aatake diba? So kailangan naming akuin ang trabaho namin noong binigay na role sa amin para magawa namin ang gusto ipagawa sa amin," said Carlos.
(We have to accept our roles because there are no other people. Ayel is in defense and setting, who else will be attacking, right? So we have to own our jobs once they are given to us so that we can do what they want us to do.)
The Lady Maroons will continue to build on their confidence this season as they face the undefeated National University Lady Bulldogs on Sunday, March 4 at the Filoil Flying Centre.
They draw inspiration from the Paul Desiderio as they head into their last first elimination round game.
"So siyempre napanood namin si Paul Desiderio buong puso niya binigay kung ano meron siya. Yun yung gusto ng teammates namin," said Carlos.
(So of course we've watched Paul Desiderio who gave everything he had. That's what our also teammates want.) – Rappler.com