It would have been hard to imagine the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons without the stern Jerry Yee striding around the sidelines.
For a few days earlier this month, the Hope Christian High School head coach left the Lady Maroons. The architect of UP’s rejuvenated volleyball program had had his fill of external drama.
Luckily, Yee changed his mind. UP finished their tumultuous Open Conference campaign with a hard-fought win over the Power Smashers, only their second victory in seven matches.
If the Lady Maroons have learned anything, it’s that nothing is permanent, especially in sports and coaches. If they want to win, they have to win now.
“Siguro mas na-appreciate natin mga pwesto natin,” Yee said. “Meaning coaches and players, we have to step up. Bottom line kasi syempre if you win or lose, pag talo ka maraming masasabi tao, pag panalo appreciate puri.
“Siguro naiintindihan na nila na di na sila bata and kailangan na nila manalo.”
The Open Conference also revealed that UP had two bright young stars in Isa Molde and Tots Carlos. The third-year open hitters admitted that they were initially shocked when Yee left.
“Nakakagulat talaga. Wala talagang nag-expect sa amin sa team,” said Molde, who has been under Yee’s tutelage since high school.
“Para sa team, naglaro lang kami. Hindi kasi namin totally naco-control ‘yung mga ganoong bagay. Pero nakakagulat pa rin,” Carlos added.
“Masaya po talaga ako noong bumalik siya. Siyempre, coach ko siya ever since high school pa. Napaisip ako na swerte talaga ako and ang team to have as a coach,” Molde, an incoming junior, expressed when asked about Yee’s return.
“Maganda siya for us kasi walang adjustment. Siyempre, kilala na kami coach. Personally, mas na-appreciate ko si coach after everything,” added Carlos, Molde’s batchmante.