Santiago puts faith in teammates in crucial stretch
Watching from the bench in the crucial stages of Game 1, Jaja Santiago couldn’t do anything but trust her teammates.
Fortunately for her, the remaining Lady Bulldogs on the floor delivered with Aiko Urdas sealing the tough 25-21, 19-25, 23-25, 25-18, 18-16 win over Ateneo to take Game 1 of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference Finals on Monday.
Santiago had faith her teammates would pull through for NU in the end.
“Naramdaman ko naman na kahit wala ako sa loob, kaya nila. Teamwork naman talaga and nakita ko na gumana yung teamwork namin noong dulo,” she said.
But the Lady Bulldogs won’t be in this position if not for the 20-year-old middle blocker, as she unloaded 31 points, powered by 25 kills and five blocks in the victory.
The win inched NU closer to back-to-back titles, with a chance for a sweep on Game 2 still at Philsports Arena in Pasig.
On the brink of the title, Santiago was her teammates to keep on pushing even if they face another deficit.
“Sabi lang sa amin ni coach na gawin lang namin yung gusto naming gawin sa loob ng court. Kilos lang kami ng maayos, walang mape-pressure sa amin. Wag naming isipin yung score kasi alam naman namin na makakahabol tayo,” she said.
But the Lady Eagles won’t fold that easily, as she expects another tough outing for NU come Game 2.
“Hindi rin naman basta-basta ang Ateneo, pero sana makuha na namin on Wednesday,” she said.