For the first time in the All-Filipino Conference of the Philippine Superliga 2016, the Cignal HD Spikers finally got a win yesterday, and it is a big one for their down morale, according to Cignal head coach Sammy Acaylar.
“Ngayong nanalo na kami, alam kong d’yan na magsisimula na ‘yung confidence ng bawat isa and as a team, mataas,” he said.
Before coming into their fifth game of the conference and emerging victorious last night against Rubie De Leon and the Generika Lifesavers, Cignal had been at the bottom of the standings at 0-4, tied with a younger Amy’s Kitchen-Perpetual squad.
Dropping their opening games to early-favorite title contenders in the likes of the Aby Maraño-led F2 Logistics Cargo Movers and the veteran-laden RC Cola-Army Lady Troopers, the longtime HD Spikers mentor admitted the individual and team character of his players was missing.
“During our [previous] games, medyo down kami talaga. Tsaka napansin ko na ‘yung character nila, ‘yung personality nila, mababa. Once na nagkamali sila, nagsusunod-sunod na. Wala silang kinakapitan. ‘Yung confidence, sobrang baba,” he said.
Nevertheless, Acaylar never stopped trying to motivate his girls.
“I told my players na kahit natatalo tayo, hindi tayo mag-gigive up, kasi that is a part of the game. Gawin nating challenge ‘yung talo. ‘Yung struggles na nangyari, gawin nating lessons sa atin ‘yan’,” he said.
“‘Maghanap muna tayo ng isang panalo. Du’n nade-develop ‘yung confidence nila as individuals, and as a team.'”
Even before entering the court last night, though, the University of Perpetual Help mentor said he already sensed something has changed in the team’s aura.
“Actually pagpasok namin sa locker room before the game, magaan. Lalo pang gumaan kasi I did some aerobics, and some mental preparation for them,” Acaylar said. “Nu’ng nanalo na kami, masaya and everybody enjoyed. Everybody congratulated each and every one.”
However, the former NCAA champion coach downplayed the lone win, and said he expects more from the team, especially now that they’ve broken into the win column.
“Ang sinabi ko lang sa kanila, ‘wag tayong masyadong sobrang saya kasi first win pa lang natin,” he said.
“‘Wag tayong ma-satisfy sa panalo na ‘yan, kasi meron pa tayong next game.”
The HD Spikers will have zero time to relax as they face Jaja Santiago and the Foton Tornadoes this afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.