As Arellano vaults to share of lead, coach sounds off alarm yet again
That Arellano coach Obet Javier made his stop at the press room for the traditional postgame interview a quick one was forgivable. The perfectionist mentor wanted to head back to the locker room for a longer chat, one his Lady Chiefs might not exactly enjoy being on the hearing end of.
“There will be a long sermon later,” he said in Filipino.
He felt the need for a lecture was in order for the three-time defending champion, which dropped a set for the first time this season in a 25-17, 25-18, 25-27, 25-13 win over winless San Sebastian on Saturday in NCAA women’s volleyball action.Lost in the litany of Javier’s concerns was Arellano’s fourth straight victory, which allowed the Lady Chiefs to room in with St. Benilde at the top with identical 4-0 records.
Leading two sets to none and 23-19 in the third, the Lady Chiefs let their guard down and fell into a maze of costly errors, topped by a faulty serve by team captain and setter Sarah Verutiao.
“I have been telling them that service is very important because it could win or lose it for us,” Javier said. “The players totally relaxed, that’s scary. It shouldn’t be the case for a championship team.”
Javier said that because of those lapses, other players could not get the exposure he wanted to give them.
“We should be able to know that we will win it all the way and not allow the other teams to catch up because of our errors,” Javier said.
Regine Arocha scored a season-high 24 points for Arellano, while Necole Ebuen added 10.
But for Javier, the rest of the team didn’t play up to par.
“Too many players were off, like (Princess) Bello, our setter (Verutiao). Even our middle [blockers]; that’s why our blocking was poor,” added Javier, who has been harping on his team’s weaknesses even after wins as it chases a fourth straight crown. “If you don’t have chance to attack, at least contribute by blocking.”