University of Perpetual Help System DALTA was a set away from completing a historic three-peat after going up 2-0 in their Game Two encounter against San Beda University in the NCAA Season 98 Men’s Volleyball Tournament finals.
However, things went to shambles as the Altas failed to close out the Red Spikers, who mounted a massive comeback en route to a five-set, 17-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-23, 15-11 win that also snapped Perpetual’s 32-game winning streak.
Perpetual ace spiker Louie Ramirez, who dropped 32 points on 24 attacks, four blocks, and four aces in the heartbreaking loss, said that this painful loss will serve as a wake-up call for the Altas.
“So hindi naman porket nakuha namin ‘yung Game One is panalo na kami. Kaya ‘yun siguro parang wake-up call na din sa amin ‘yun, and then siguro sa susunod babawi kami,” said Ramirez, who suffered from cramps as early as the third set.
Ramirez, who was crowned the Season 98 Most Valuable Player before the game, was hard on himself after the loss. The Imus Ivy Tuason-Photography standout believes that if he had not gone down, the Altas might have finished off the series.
“Siguro dun sa naging game namin kanina, sa akin po sa sarili ko, di ko rin akalain na magkakaganun yung performance ko lalo na yung katawan ko na biglang bumigay,” said Ramirez, who was also celebrating his birthday.
“Kayang kaya naman po namin. May point lang na bumigay tiyaka parang dahil nga sa akin, parang bumigay ako. Then parang ‘di nakabangon yung team namin, parang nahila ko sila pababa pero lumaban naman sila,” he continued.
Perpetual head coach Sammy Acaylar said Ramirez’s absence from the court mentally affected his teammates. However, he believes that his decision to withdraw his star player in order to prevent further harm was the right one.
“The more na nawala pa si Louie Ramirez, the more pa nagkaroon sila ng problem sa isipan nila and wala naman ako magawa. Kasi siyempre, I have to ilabas si Louie because siyempre, inaalgaan ko rin ‘yung bata, ayoko naman magkaroon ng worst [problem] ba dun sa nangyari sa kanya,” Acaylar said.
With the three-peat hopes hanging in the balance, Ramirez vowed to go all out and help the Altas write history.
“Sobrang gigil na parang gusto ko na maglaro ulit ngayon na… pero sa ipapa-Sunday na namin para maganda ‘yung laban.”