NU recently changed the head coach of its women’s volleyball team, replacing Ariel Dela Cruz with Roger Gorayeb just days before the team’s match against UST.
With rumblings of a new head coach for the Lady Bulldogs, Jaja Santiago was adamant that the players just continue to keep on playing well, and to keep their heads in the game no matter who is coaching the team. “Maglaro na lang kami ng maayos. Kahit ano mangyari sa taas, ok kami sa baba.”
In an interview after their match versus UST, Coach Roger expressed his desire that Santiago be more assertive on the court. He hopes that the team maximizes the talents of his tallest player, and that Santiago is able to score at least five points per set. Santiago willingly accepted her new found role.
“Ina-accept ko yung gusto niyang mangyari sa akin. Sabagay naman, kung 6’4 ka, bakit di mo kaya gawin yung sinasabi niya, diba?”
Santiago is still unsure of the impact of the coach, having to adjust to a new system mid-season as well as building trust between each other, but she hopes everything will work out in the end.
“Bagong adjustment, bagong pakikisama. Di namin siya kilala, di niya kami kilala. Pero siguro magiging ok.”
Before the Christmas break, NU suffered a devastating loss to FEU. During that time, it was clear on the face of the players that the loss greatly affected them. With the new year, Santiago said the team is putting everything behind them. They have decided to focus on the challenges ahead of them instead.
“Nung natapos yung 2014 sa amin, tinanggal namin yung negative, lahat ng pwedeng iiwan na pangit, iniwan na namin. Itong new year, nag start talaga kami na positive. Wala nang lilingon dun sa negative na yun. So kailangan tuloy-tuloy kaming lumaban.”
So far, the positive attitude seems to have worked, as they were able to defeat UST despite the coaching change.