The defending NCAA Women’s Volleyball champions College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers are in a familiar situation
After losing three of their elimination-round assignments — including their final assignment against the San Sebastian Lady Stags, the Lady Blazers have their backs against the wall. Just like a year ago, they have to go through the entire stepladder once again.
In their final elimination round encounter, Saint Benilde was able to draw first blood but suffered a meltdown, falling in four sets.
“Nung third set bumigay kami sa dulo dahil natalo kami sa isang pasa namin, kaya bumaba yung laro namin,” Lady Blazers skipper Jeannette Panaga lamented.
The reigning queens actually started well, as its wing spikers finally showed their wares more obviously in the first set of the said game.
“Yung una sinasabihan kami ni coach na, pakita niyo namin na buo [kami] at nag-eenjoy lang kami sa loob,” the 22-year-old middle hitter shared on what might have been the motivating factor to the fluttering of its pin hitters’ game.
Nevertheless, all is not yet lost for the Lady Blazers and they will do everything to rekindle their lost fire. And they just have to learn from the positive things that have happened so far and build on them.
“Siguro yun yung gagamitin naming motivation, na mas marami pa rin kaming wins, so siguro pag-aaralan lang namin yung mga pagkakamali namin para mas tumibay pa kami sa semis,” the 5-foot-11 tower said.
With regards to their losses, the central attacker knows that her squad will try to make amends on one thing: their defense, in order to turn things around. As she constantly reminds her teammates, “Kapag walang pasa, walang [palo].” And, more bluntly, faulty reception means no effective middle plays, which in the Lady Blazers’ case means disaster.
There is thus no question on what their focus will be in the build-up to the postseason.
“Yung magiging adjustment namin sa semis is mas aralin pa sa training yung passing namin and siguro pati sa blocking,” the native of Limay, Bataan said.
Faced with a similar situation as last year, the ladies of 2544 Taft Avenue hope to repeat their epic climb to the top this year.
“Yung mga nakatalo sa min, kailangan naming balikan and mas paghuhusayan pa namin para yung comeback namin, mas tumibay pa kami at lumakas,” she furthered
With so many things happening, this CSB team is willing to do all things to keep the crown in its fold.
“Mas papakita namin yung tibay namin, yung oneness namin sa court. At siyempre yung heart of a champion,” Panaga vowed.