MANILA, Philippines-Weathering excitement and feeling starstruck over legitimate UAAP and NCAA teams was one of the challenges that Enderun Colleges overcame in securing its first win in the V-League Collegiate Challenge against San Sebastian College.
Lady Titans coach Ariel dela Cruz reminded his players to slow down their play after dropping the first two sets to the Lady Stags and Enderun heeded him on the way to a 21-25, 21-25, 25-16, 25-23, 15-12 come-from-behind victory.
“They (Lady Titans) are very excited to play here,” Dela Cruz said of his players. “There is so much excitement inside them that they were rushing their play, which we saw in the first set.”
San Sebastian had few problems finding holes in Enderun’s defense in the first two sets, but trusting their capabilities, the Lady Titans regained footing to extend the game.
“I told them (Lady Titans) that ‘it’s ok to be happy, but you need to relax in whatever you are doing. Don’t rush it.’ That’s why we lost the first and second set because they wanted to finish it even before the game was over,” Dela Cruz told the Inquirer.
Enderun needed to suit up second setter Alyssa Santos as its main playmaker Rhean Almendralejo skipped the game after hitting her head while diving for the ball in their loss to University of the East (UE), 25-16, 25-16, 25-20.
“Luckily, our second setter stepped up and the players who I rely on were there. They all stepped up,” Dela Cruz said.
Althea Botor and Erika Deloria combined their attacking to lead Enderun’s charge, providing 21 and 17 points, respectively.
“Show what you can do. Don’t just let up as we are leading all the way and then we will lose in the endgame,” Dela Cruz said, challenging the Lady Titans.
Joining the tournament with nothing to lose, Enderun is looking to establish its volleyball program among the collegiate heavyweights of UAAP and NCAA.
And while the Lady Titans are still new to the higher level of difficulty that these teams offer, Dela Cruz will be pushing his player to be at par with—or even better than—the noted collegiate programs.
“I tell them to show their best every time we play because that is how we will introduce our school ,” he said. “Even though they are down, they know that they can win so luckily, our game came back and we even won.” INQ
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