De La Salle University’s five-set loss to the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws last Sunday was no less than shocking. Having gone up 2-0, the Lady Spikers collapsed and surrendered the next three sets.
Now, La Salle face the possibility of failing to make the UAAP Finals for the first time in seven years, should they lose to FEU on Wednesday at the SM MoA Arena.
The frustration was visible in every Lady Spiker last Sunday. Half the team had been tearing up and, after spending nearly an hour in the dugout, head coach Ramil De Jesus declined to talk to the media.
During the match, De Jesus had urged his players to tough out FEU’s gritty advances.
“Tiyagain niyo,” De Jesus had yelled during a timeout in the third set. “Huwag niyo i-expect na lahat ng darating sa inyong bola ay perfect. Gawan niyo ng paraan.”
La Salle had struggled offensively throughout the match. In the times when they couldn’t control the first touch, the Lady Spikers too often tossed to their open hitters who, in turn, started showing signs of fatigue later in the match. In fact, FEU’s last two points in the fifth set came from attack errors from graduating open hitter Cyd Demecillo.
“Siguro yung focus namin and nakita naman na mas gusto manalo noong kalaban,” said third year utility hitter Kim Dy, who topped the Lady Spikers with 20 points.
Dy felt that the Lady Spikers’ nerves had frayed down the stretch ,and they now need to recover from the emotional let-down to perform better on Wednesday.
“It’s just that, hindi na kami masyadong nag-enjoy noong fourth and fifth set. We were confident when we got the first two sets. Nataranta na kami noong nananalo na sila,” Dy expressed.
Graduating middle blocker Mika Reyes is confident her team can bounce back. Last season, the Lady Spikers had also been pushed to the brink of elimination but performed valiantly to re-enter the Finals.
“Kailangan may bawi talaga. Part ng paglalaro talaga yan. Part ng life yan,” Reyes said about losing.
Reyes has urged her teammates to move forward and not let their past failures burden them.
“Kung anuman yung nangyari, kailangan mag-move on. Hindi ko na dapat isipin kung anuman yung nangyari in the past. Matataranta lang ako if I dwell on that,” Reyes closed.