Jaja, Lady Bulldogs go back to coach Castillo’s mantra in win over UE
When University of the East threatened to cut short National University’s early dominance in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament, Jaja Santiago knew they had to go back to basics.
And those basics were head coach Babes Castillo’s three points, “respect, whistle to whistle, and communication.”
UE managed to get the second set, but the Lady Bulldogs proved their class and took the match in four, 25-15, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19.
Santiago said the key to their victory was just following Castillo’s simple reminders.
“After the second set, coach told us to play with the ‘respect, whistle to whistle, and communication’ code,” said Santiago in Filipino Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
Santiago said the “whistle to whistle” part is the effort they should put in every point and that they lacked the drive against the Lady Warriors in the second set.
Castillo said his players might have exhausted themselves after training beyond their three-hour sessions, but the former Lady Bullpups head coach said that if the body lags behind the mind should make up for it.
“I have to give credit to the players because for the past week they’re really pushing it, so maybe one factor is fatigue,” said Castillo in Flipino.
“But that’s part of being an athlete, you will be tired whether you like it or not. And if you’re an athlete, and you’re tired, you switch to your mental toughness.”
And it wasn’t just in the second set that Santiago and the Lady Bulldogs had to dig into their coach’s teachings as UE once again showed its fight in the fourth set.
After taking a 23-13 lead down the stretch of the fourth frame, NU committed four straight errors allowing UE to cut the lead to 23-17.
Santiago momentarily stopped the futility with kill before Aiko Urdas finished things off for the Lady Bulldogs.
“We needed to bring our tempo back, and don’t let UE get its way,” said Santiago who finished with 23 points. “We have to give our 100 percent.”
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