Lady Maroons kumpiyansa sa 81st Season ng UAAP Volleyball Tournament

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Bunga ng kanilang naging tagumpay sa mga nagdaang pre-season tournaments, mataas ang ekspektasyon ngayon sa University of the Philippines women’s volleyball team para sa nalalapit na UAAP Season 81 volleyball tournament na magsisimula sa susunod na buwan.

At kakambal ng naturang ekspektasyon na inamin din ni Lady Maroons Kenyan coach Godfrey Okumu ang mas matinding pressure.

Winalis ng Lady Maroons ang dalawang pre season tournaments na kanilang sinalihan, na sya ring naging dahilan upang ideklara silang maagang paborito at contender para sa titulong hawak ng De La Salle sa darating na UAAP volleyball tournament.

“It means a lot of pressure. For the players and for me. That’s what it means,” pag-amin ng second year mentor na si Okumu matapos talunin ng Lady Maroons ang University of Sto. Tomas sa nakaraang Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam.

Nauna nang iginupo ng Lady Maroons noong nakaraang Setyembre ang Far Eastern University sa Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Finals para sa una nilang titulo mula noong 1982 sa UAAP.

“I’ve tried all my players in these preseason games. I’ve played almost 28, at least 25 or 26 players. I’ve been able to recycle them in all the tournaments we’ve played,” wika pa ni Okumu na problemado naman sa gagawing pagpili ng kanyang magifuing final line up para sa UAAP.

“It’s gonna be hard to choose. We played well, and everybody gave their best. We had a trophy, and this is the second one. It’s just a big pressure, and just hoping for the best.”

“UAAP is another game altogether. We only played against three of the other teams. So, I don’t wanna judge ourselves before playing against everybody else,” dagdag nito. “So yes, we want to go out there and win the UAAP, but we have to tread carefully.”

“We have to be polite as we move on, train, work hard. Because it’s a really big challenge for us, and we wouldn’t like to play so well in the offseason, and when the real tournament comes up, we don’t perform,” dagdag pa ni Okumu. “So I believe, it puts us in a very tight situation, but the fight is there. So we’re gonna fight until the end.”

-Marivic Awitan