Rosier, young players hold the fort for UP during time of uncertainty
MANILA, Philippines—When things looked uncertain for University of the Philippines, its holdovers decided to put in the work.
Junior spiker Roselyn Rosier said the Fighting Maroons continued to train and prepare for the coming UAAP Season even while the core of Diana Carlos, Isa Molde, Justine Dorog Maristela Layug, Rem Cailing, and Jessma Ramos were still uncertain of their own tenures.
“Coach [Godfrey Okumu] told us that we shouldn’t wait for people to come back so during the time when there was no decision being made, we focused on how we can improve for the team and prepare for the season,” said Rosier in Filipino.
Okumu, who was also coaching his seniors at Motolite in the Premier Volleyball League, remained on top of the Fighting Maroons’ practices after Season 81 to check up on the rest of the team.
“We were very grateful that despite all the things happening during the summer and with the seniors not with us, we’re still working hard by ourselves,” said Rosier.
“Coach, even though he was with Motolite, regularly visited us and he wasn’t worried that we might be missing out on practice.”
This constant work allowed UP’s younger players to polish their game so that when the seniors ultimately decided to return, the transition of getting back with the veterans was as smooth as possible.
Altomea and Dorog returned to the Fighting Maroons’ fold in October, almost six months since UP bowed out of Season 81 as the fifth seed with a 6-8 card.
It took another month for the big guns to return with Molde and Carlos, the team’s top two scorers from Season 81, announcing their return in November.
“It was a bit late [for us to be complete], but the transition was smooth so it never felt that nothing has changed,” said Rosier. “Maybe the only adjustment was the seniors weren’t used to us being loud but they eventually realized that it’s fun and they joined our craziness.”