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De Jesus shares thoughts on Meralco’s shaky start

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So far, it has been a shaky start for the Meralco Power Spikers in the ongoing 2015 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix.

Giving a quick refresher, they opened their first three games of the season with a couple of straight sets defeat at the hands of the Foton Tornadoes, the Petron Blaze Spikers and a tough five-set duel with the RC Cola Air Force Raiders.

“Nangyayari naman sa lahat ng team iyan at nagkataon lang na sa amin nangyari ngayon so sana sa susunod makuha namin ang first win,” De Jesus told Tiebreaker Times when asked about his team’s 0-3 start. “Pero ang game na ito [against RC Cola], sayang umabot kami ng fifth set pero hindi lang kami sinwerte.”

Unlike their All-Filipino campaign (when they were still the Shopinas.com Lady Clickers), where coach De Jesus still had majority of his key players intact. In contrast, this current version of De Jesus’ volleybelles has undergone massive retooling. They saw a total of 10 players move to other PSL teams while only 4 remained from their All-Filipino campaign group. To fill that big void, De Jesus decided to field in 7 of his senior players from his De La Salle Lady Spikers squad.

With a totally different team being deployed by De Jesus, a lot of bumps along the road are expected since it will take some time for the newer players, holdovers and imports of the team to get their act together and form a cohesive unit.

Taking a trip down memory lane, during the 2014 Grand Prix, he had no problem in running the team as he had the likes of his former La Salle players in Abigail Marano, Cha Cruz, Stephanie Mercado, Michele Gumabao, and Melissa Gohing as his core players. The only adjustment process he had to do that time was getting the likes of former imports in Russian opposite spiker Natalia Korobkova and Japanese setter Miyo Shinohara to gel with the team. At first, it was a rough ride but when they got along, they almost won the title.

Back to the present, he is somehow in the same situation again since he is coaching a lot of his former and current college players. The thing that they need to work on now is making their imports, Christina Alessia and Liis Kullerkann, become familiar with the locals to make their team compete better against the opposing squads.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times De Jesus shares thoughts on Meralco’s shaky start

“Actually mahirap kasing i-gel ang [new] imports namin [with the team]. Mas makikita mo na mas magaling dumipensa although maano iyong attack nila,” he added. “Mas nakakagalaw [ng more fluidly] ang locals kasi kilala nila ang isa’t-isa.”

Furthermore, De Jesus stressed that it will always be challenging for his college players in juggling between their academic and athletic duties. This week alone, his college players had their midterm examinations, and two of them, Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo, are also seeing action in the ongoing UAAP Season 78 Beach Volleyball Tournament.

“Actually may galaw naman talaga ang mga bata. Natapat lang siguro na hindi nakapagprepare doon sa kalaban,” he remarked. “Kasi siguro marami din ginagawa sa La Salle ngayon dahil midterms week at beach volley.”

“May mga instances na hindi namin nakakasama iyong starting six lalo na kapag may mga class. Parang ngayon absent sa class nila na Tuesday and Thursday so mabigat sa akin. Mahirap kasi para sa isang player na marami kang iniisip masyado bukod doon sa game.”

Regardless of all the errands, responsibilities and obligations that his players have, De Jesus still expects the team to ramp up its intensity in order for them to win games. He wants them to focus the task at hand and make no excuses.

“Pero kailangan nandito na sila sa situation na ito kaya no excuses dapat,” he ended. “Responsiblity nilang maglaro ng tama.”

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