MANILA, Philippines – The pressure of its first V-League Finals appearance got the best of National University, admitted head coach Edjet Mabbayad.
The Lady Bulldogs looked like a different team in their championship opener against Ateneo last Thursday as the Lady Eagles took a 1-0 headstart.
“Nung first game kasi masyado silang tight at gigil,” said Mabbayad after his team evened the series at 1-1. “Ngayon normal lang so na-execute namin ang game plan namin. Mas magaan galaw ng mga bata. Naalis nila yung tension at kaba nila, naglaro sila ng walang masyadong pressure.”
“Game 1 kinakabahan pa kami,” echoed skipper Dindin Santiago. “Akala namin normal lang galaw namin pero pagpasok namin sa court bigla kaming kinabahan pero ngayon nag-focus talaga kami.”
True enough, the Lady Bulldogs started off strong and as the every set went down-the-wire, they were able to pull through.
“Nakakatuwa kasi gusto talaga nila manalo. Pinakita nila na kahit humahabol ang kalaban kaya nila,” added Mabbayad.
NU blew a commanding lead in the third set but stood its ground amid Ateneo’s attack with Carmina Aganon coming through with the game-clinching point.
Myla Pablo had 15 points while Santiago added 12 as both rebounded from their poor outing in Game 1.