UAAP: Isa Molde nabs 1st Season 81 Player of the Week honors
MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines' Isa Molde made a statement as the top scorer in the opening weekend of the UAAP Season 81 Women's volleyball tournament.
The fourth year open hitter powered in 23 points, leading the Lady Maroons past the gritty University of the East Lady Warriors which earned her the UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week honors.
UP needed every bit of Molde's double-digit outing to survive the grueling five-setter against one of the league's best defensive teams. The 2016 Rookie of the Year also covered the backrow with 10 excellent receptions from 22 attempts.
Billed as contenders after winning the PSL Collgiate Grand Slam and PVL Collegiate Conference, the Lady Maroons came into opening day with a lot of pressure.
Molde insists that the pressure is helping her and UP focus on their goals.
"Siyempre, may pressure talaga. Pero, nandoon naman 'yung pressure kasi nakita ng mga tao, ng UP community na kaya namin. Nakakatulong din siya para sa confidence mo," said the Cebuana.
(Of course there's pressure, but the pressure is there because the UP community thinks we can do it. It helps with our confidence.)
UP head coach Godfrey Okumu expressed the need for a balanced performance from his roster to succeed in the UAAP. But, having players like Molde to rely on in clutch situations is a luxury he enjoys.
"We have a lot of great players, but someone like Isa helps us get out of tough spots," said the Kenyan mentor.
"When we have to go out-of-system, Isa can be relied on to get us points. We'll definitely need more of that type of play to get good results moving forward."
The Lady Maroons will face Far Eastern University on Wednesday, February 20, in a rematch of the PVL Collegiate Conference Finals.
Molde knows that every will be a challenge and earning a win over FEU will be a tall task, given their past meetings.
"Mahirap talaga kalaban 'yung FEU kasi marami din sa kanilang veterans and ready mag-contribute sa team. Kailangan namin talaga maging composed against them and bawasan 'yung mga errors namin," Molde closed.
(It's hard to go against FEU because they have a lot of veterans and each of them is ready to contribute to the team. We have to be composed against them and limit our errors.) – Rappler.com