UST has just been eliminated by the defending champions, the NU Bulldogs, in three straight sets. The Tigers gave it all they had, but in the end, the experience of NU prevailed. After the match, UST coach, Odjie Mamon, was available to the media to answer some questions.
Coach Odjie was asked what went wrong for the Tigers, failing to claim a set in their final game of the season. Coach cited the inexperience of his team in moments as intense as the Final Four. UST’s last Final Four appearance was in Season 74, wherein the team placed 2nd.
“Yung preparation namin maganda sa training, naintindihan nila, hindi lang talaga na execute. Story of our lives, 22 ang nabigay namin na puntos [sa error],” mused Coach Odjie.
Heading into the Final Four, Coach Odjie knew that his team was at a disadvantage, despite being twice-to-beat. “Alam ko na yun, kaya nung nalaman ko na nanalo yung NU over Adamson sabi ko ‘tsk, napahirapan,’ kasi ineexpect na namin na magbanggaan ulit sa Ateneo, then we’ll be given a chance na makabawi sa Adamson, kahit kami pa yung mahirapan sa placing. Ginusto talaga nila siguro na kami yung makalaban sa semifinals, knowing our inexperience in that situation,” shared Coach Odjie.
Happy with the way his team has been playing, Odjie Mamon is excited to coach the team once more next season.
“Sa men’s team magmemeeting kami Wednesday. Performance evaluation ng team. Pagmeeting namin kasama na rin yung letter of intent ko to renew for the men’s volleyball team, tsaka recommendation ko for the coaching staff.”
Since Odjie will no longer be coaching the UST women’s team, he will be able to focus all his attention on the men’s team.
“Siguro kasi less stress. Without the baggage of the drama with womens players. Aminado lahat ng coaches diyan, different style.”
UST has gone through numerous ups and downs this season. From suspending three of their veterans midseason, to defeating Ateneo, last year’s first runner-up, during the course of the tournament. Experiencing all of this with the team, Coach Odjie is extremely proud of what his team has accomplished this year, even if they did not make it into the finals.
“I’m very proud of them. We made it this far despite their inexperience. Kasi sabi ko hindi naman bagito yan, may level of maturity din, kaya lang yung inexperience din cost us the semifinals game. Proud ako dun, lalo na yung first year. Umiiyak siya kanina, sabi ko ‘wag kang umiyak, ikaw first year pa lang, you have room for error,” said coach about his team.