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UAAP volleyball: Okumu fails to find right mix in UP loss to Adamson


UP Godfrey Okumu UAAP

UP head coach Godfrey Okumu during a game against Adamson in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines coach Godfrey Okumu explained that he didn’t want to overwork his players after his different rotations against Adamson dealt their first loss of the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament.

Okumu fielded 13 of his 14-player lineup and tried different combinations of players but UP saw its three-game winning streak ended by Adamson, 19-25, 25-19, 17-25, 11-25, on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.

“As a coach, I really want to have the best team possible. Today was a test for us as a team to try, especially in the fourth set. I also wanted to give other players a chance,” said the Fighting Maroons coach after their first defeat in four games.

“If we don’t shuffle players, we might end up overworking some of the players. At some point, yes, we have to take that risk of shuffling players, and give other players a chance to rest.”

Okumu admitted it was a tough loss but he understood that all good things must come to an end as Alyssa Bertolano was the lone bright spot for the Fighting Maroons with 15 points after the Lady Falcons outplayed them in all departments: 51-41 in attacking, 8-2 in blocking and 9-2 in service aces.

“It’s not easy to accept a loss like this, but again, I say this is volleyball. It’s just another day in the office. Sometimes, you win some, sometimes, you lose,” he said. “Adamson played well today. We had a few weaknesses that when it came to passing, we were not as sharp as we usually are, and I think that’s the downturn of our game today.”

The Kenyan coach reminded his wards not to be too hard on themselves in their first defeat, which should serve as a lesson and strengthen their bond.

“We expect a lot from our outside spikers. But we really have to stick together whether we lose or win,” Okumu said.  “We have to accept and learn how to live with our wins and our losses because that’s a reality in sports. That’s how it is, so we talked about our situation now, and yes, it’s a good lesson that we learned today.”

Okumu expects to see those lessons they learned from defeat on Saturday as UP battles Ateneo (1-3).

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