Everything seemed to be going right for the defending champions.
The Petron Blaze Spikers seemed to have their opponent, the Foton Tornadoes, back on their heels after the first set of action in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix Finals. Cruising through the set after leading by as many as seven, Petron looked ready to pounce on the challengers and take Game One of the Finals.
Alas, Petron’s efforts were for naught as the Tornadoes found renewed vigor after the initial pounding they took in the opening set. Foton bounced back in the second set, and Petron never really recovered. Eventually, the champs were facing a 0-1 game deficit, wondering what went wrong after their excellent start.
The media caught up with Petron Head Coach, George Pascua, who candidly shared what he thought happened to his team during the game.
For Pascua, the pressure of playing in the Finals, with an opportunity for a third consecutive championship, weighed heavily on his players. So much so that they were unable to enjoy the game, enjoy the Finals atmosphere, and appreciate being able to get this far.
“Ang nagiging problema lang sa amin is yung nadadala sa emotion. Kailangan i-enjoy lang nila. Yun naman importante dun, at yung gameplan namin masunod. Nasunod siya nung first set, pero nung second set nag-iba na.”
From there, coach felt his wards start to unravel. They had good intentions, wanting to do everything right, but to coach, if you try to focus too much on every little thing that you’re doing, things will eventually begin to unravel.
“Yung sa amin, gusto namin manalo, gusto namin ma-perfect. The more na sinasabi mo na ‘ito kailangan i-perfect’ mas lalong walang mapeperfect na mangyayari.”
Coach Pascua hopes that his team can turn things around before the tip-off of Game Two, and the team has a few more things to fix before they are ready, and one thing the team has to remember is to enjoy the game of volleyball.
“Kailangan ma enjoy nila yung laro para ma-lessen yung pressure at ma-lessen yung errors. Kasi habang nag-eenjoy ka, tumataas yung adrenaline mo. Nae-energize ka, namomotivate ka.”
Enjoy the game. It sounds easy to do, but once you get caught up in the heat of the moment, anything can happen.
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