Jolina dela Cruz shines anew but coach wants ‘team effort’ from La Salle
MANILA, Philippines—Rookie Jolina Dela Cruz had another stellar outing in De La Salle’s final elimination round game in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament, but head coach Ramil De Jesus stressed that his team shouldn’t be reliant on just one person.
Dela Cruz finished with 22 points in a 25-22, 13-25, 15-25, 27-25, 15-8 loss to Far Eastern University to end their campaign in the preliminaries at 10-4 while the Lady Tamaraws will head to the Final Four carrying a 9-5 slate.
Even though Tin Tiamzon and May Luna finished with 17 and 15 points, respectively, De Jesus told his players to do better on the defensive aspect of the game.
“What’s happening is Jolina’s the one carrying the team and I told my players we can’t put all the burden on her, it should be a team effort,” said De Jesus in Filipino Sunday at Filoil Flying V Center.
“There are other ways you can help the team like digging and serving, or playing defense, receiving and blocking,” added De Jesus.
Dela Cruz, who averaged 10.7 points in the first 13 games, was La Salle’s focal point on offense with a total of 60 spike attempts and converting 15 of them.
This work rate eventually caught up to Dela Cruz, who tallied six aces and one block, as her final attack sailed far too wide.
“It’s not frustrating actually, and I guess this is the Lord’s way of saying that we should still work harder,” said Dela Cruz in Filipino.
Dela Cruz added that she did ask for the ball from setter Michelle Cobb but only if she deemed the offense had nowhere to go.
“I did ask Ate Cobby for the ball if ever there was no open player,” said Dela Cruz. “Well we were almost there today but we slipped. It’s like when you’re climbing the stairs but when you got to the top you just had to fall down.”
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