Okumu expects greater challenge in the second round: 'It was our day'
MANILA, Philippines – With their win over the Adamson Lady Falcons on Saturday, March 10, the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons might just be able to turn things around this second round.
After skidding to a 4-game losing streak after their opening game win against the University of the East Lady Warriors, UP secured its second win in 3 games over the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses and the Lady Falcons.
"First I'll start by thanking the UP fans, they really drove us, they gave us power, energy, to get the work done," said head coach Godfrey Okumu.
It is evident that the Lady Maroons have been improving on their passing and defense, especially after switching to a 4-2 rotation during the game against UST.
UP's leading scorer Tots Carlos admitted that Adamson put up a big challenge for them and even praised them for their defense that drove the match to 5 sets. However, it was their desire to win that pushed them to work together for the victory.
"Sobrang ganda ng depensa ng Adamson, di yan magpapatalo ng basta basta, may pinaglalaban sila. Teamwork talaga and sabi ni coach ng serve kami nang maayos and depensa syempre. Di mananalo kung ayaw niyo yung laro, ginusto na namin," said Carlos.
(Adamson's defense is good, they won't lose just like that. They are fighting with determination. It's really teamwork and coach said we should serve properly and defense of course. We can't win if we don't like our play so we made ourselves want it.)
After taking the first set, the Lady Maroons dropped the second and 4th sets of the match due to errors which surrendered the control to the Lady Falcons.
"Noong second set parang nawala kaming lahat kasi na overwhelm kami sa first set kami ang nanalo pero pagdating 3rd set kaya naming kunin and sabi ni coach stick to the plan and stay ahead," said setter Rem Cailing.
(In the second set, it's like we got lost because we were overwhelmed that we won the first set but then we it came to the 3rd set, we were able to get it and coach said that we should stick to the plan and stay ahead.)
Cailing made 32 out of the team's 34 excellent sets that were crucial in distributing the first ball to the spikers. She currently stands at 9th in the running for best setter, but her improvement might just allow her to climb ranks.
"Wala naman, tiwala lang sa sarili then tiwala sa teammates kasi binigay sakin tong responsibility na ako na maging playmaker. Gawin ko na lang ang tama," said Cailing.
(It's nothing, I just trust myself and trust my teammates because they gave me this responsibility that I'll be the playmaker. I'll just do what is right.)
With 6 more games to go in the second round, the Lady Maroons will face volleyball giants Ateneo, National University and the defending champions De La Salle University – whom they will face on Wednesday, March 14, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Maroons will look to bounce back from those games that swept them. Okumu knows that "this day" was just "their day" and their future games will truly test their character.
"Today, it was our day even though our opponents were really good teams," said Okumu.
"We just have to try and win the remaining games. I don't care who's in front of me or who's behind me, just one game at a time and if we can win all the games, why not? Everybody is here to play and win, so we're just doing what everyone is here for." – Rappler.com