Past haunting Lady Bulldogs, says coach
It’s a new era in National University but head coach Babes Castillo feels the Lady Bulldogs are still lingering in their past.
Castillo, who replaced Roger Gorayeb as the team’s head coach in 2017, said the Lady Bulldogs are still being bothered by their past failures.
“Their past is haunting them, they’re having a difficult time shaking that off,” said Castillo in Filipino. “They still remember that vibe. When they lost in one of our games, I heard some comments that what has happened before is happening again.”
The Lady Bulldogs started off the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament on fire for a 6-1 record, a first in school history that they ended up as the top seed after the first round.
But it has been a different story in the second round as NU succumbed to three straight setbacks, with its latest loss against mid-table contender Adamson University, 25-19, 25-15, 18-25, 25-13, in Wednesday.
To put things in perspective, the Lady Bulldogs have yet to win a game in the second part of the eliminations as they bowed to teams—De La Salle, Ateneo, and Adamson— that they beat in the first round.
This struggle, though, isn’t new to NU as the expected contender—especially with Jaja Santiago on its roster—has faltered several times in the crucial stages for the past years.
In season 79, NU held a respectable 5-3 record midway through the season but then lost four of its next six games and bombed out of the Final Four race with a 7-7 card
A similar occurrence happened in Season 78 when the Lady Bulldogs failed to get to the Final Four with a 7-7 record.
“I really saw the ghost of the past earlier in the game because the players base their happiness on wins and that shouldn’t be the case,” said Castillo. “They’re not themselves if they act like that.”
Castillo said the team’s inability to move on has hampered the team as the Lady Bulldogs could be in danger of failing to get into the semifinals again if the slide continues
NU is tied with Far Eastern University for third in the standings but the Lady Falcons can still boot the Lady Bulldogs out of the big dance.
Even sixth-seeded University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines still have a mathematical chance of taking NU’s temporary spot in the standings.
Castillo, though, remained positive despite his team’s struggles.
“This has a solution,” said Castillo. “You just have to be part of the solution and I think that is one thing that is very important. Now is the time to support each other.”
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