Letran coach Michael Inoferio calls the fifth set “the players’ set.” Regardless if a team forces it or is forced to play it by an opponent, the fifth set is always on the players.
“All we have to do as coaches is call timeouts,” Inoferio said in Filipino.
“The players themselves take care of the rest.” On Friday, pushed to the wall by a gritty Lyceum, Letran’s front liners took charge to hack out a 26-28, 27-25, 16-25, 25-19, 16-14 triumph in the 95th NCAA women’s volleyball at Filoil Flying V Centre.
And Inoferio swears he had little to do with the victory. “The credit belongs to the players. They won the game, not the coaches,” Inoferio added.
He singled out the Lady Knights’ scoring machine Chamberlaine Cunada, who exploded with 28 points, and Julienne Castro, who banged in 17, as Letran notched its second straight victory to climb to 3-2.
Now tied with San Beda, the Lady Knights have started making a case for themselves as a Final Four contender. How serious a contender? That will be known on Tuesday when the team battles a hurting Arellano side.
The Lady Chiefs, smarting from their first defeat in the tournament, are eager to get back on the winning track to bolster their bid for a fourth straight championship. Letran will be a definite underdog in that match, but at least, the Lady Knights will have something going for them.
“Definitely we will carry a big morale lift going against Arellano, hopefully we sustain this level,” Inoferio added. Alexandra Rafael scored 17 kills, while Monica Sevilla also had 17 points to go with 14 digs for the Lady Pirates, who dropped to a 2-4 card.
In the second match, San Sebastian scored its first win after beating Mapua, 25-18, 25-20, 25-20. The Lady Stags climbed out of the rut with a 1-5 record, while the Lady Cardinals dropped to 1-4.