MANILA, Philippines-Mapua coach Clarence Esteban wasted no time giving his feedback on his Lady Cardinals’ defense right after their grueling five-set victory over Lyceum at the V-League Collegiate Challenge at Paco Arena on Sunday.
“I reminded them of the system that I have been teaching them which is on our defense,” said Esteban, who had a long talk with his Lady Cardinals on the heels of their tight win over the Pirates, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 15-11.
“Overall, we reviewed what skills we lacked during the game, which is our block, that is where we had the lowest skill,” Esteban said as both teams only had seven blocks throughout the game.
Mapua bounced back from a straight-set shellacking from Far Eastern University, 25-13, 25-18, 25-15, on Wednesday.
“This is where the game of momentum falls, whoever has the better momentum, they will be the ones who will advance in the battle,” Esteban said.
With two sets already in the bag, the Lady Cardinals could’ve ended the game in the fourth set but a resilient Lyceum had other plans in mind as it extended the match to a deciding fifth set.
Raisa Ricablanca’s 17 points showcased her strong attacking to lift the Lady Cardinals with Roxie dela Cruz chipping in 15 and Gwen Espiritu and Hannah de Guzman adding 12 each.
Esteban hopes to continue to improve the Lady Cardinals’ defense for their upcoming games.
“Right now, we’re constructing our system so we did a lot of adjustments then we’re trying it out here, the new system,” said Esteban who is grateful for the good outcome of his team
The Lady Cardinals, Esteban added, managed to deliver about 70 percent of their new system.
“That’s why sometimes my players are getting lost but I told them that a win is a win, we won,” he said.
Luckily for the Lady Cardinals, the tides shifted toward them early in the fifth set that secured the victory.
Mapua will battle it out with the Lady Warriors at 12 p.m on Wednesday while Lyceum will have a six-day break before facing University of Perpetual Help on Sunday also at 12 p.m.
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