MANILA, Philippines — New Adamson coach JP Yude wanted the Lady Falcons to show no fear against the UAAP champions, De La Salle Lady Spikers.
Prior to the opener of their best-of-three Finals series in the Shakey’s Super League National Invitational, the Lady Falcons’ youthful coach told his wards to have a brave mindset and not get intimidated by one of the most successful collegiate volleyball programs in the country.
“I told them that before when you face La Salle, you are already at a disadvantage. Let’s change that. We have to be defiant and we need to want it more,” said Yude, who was promoted from the Adamson girls’ team to the college squad.
And the Lady Falcons, led by Lucille Almonte’s 24-point explosion, never wavered even trailing by nine in the fourth set to complete a come-from-behind 22-25, 25-17, 17-25, 27-25, 16-14 win over La Salle in Game 1 of the best-of-three series on Wednesday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
“When we were preparing for the championship, I told them that we have to want it more because when we enter the court and get intimidated, La Salle will just beat us,” said Yude in Filipino.
Almonte willed her team back from an 11-20 deficit in the fourth with rookie Red Bascon providing the spark from the bench and putting on the finishing touches. When the fifth set was tied by Shevana Laput to 14-all, Bascon nailed a clutch off-the-block hit, which became controversial as La Salle didn’t agree with the call, to regain the match point.
Amid the fans booing the match officials, Bascon remained composed and didn’t give up on the final point until she drilled her attack after three tries to put Adamson a win away from winning the National Invitational championship.
Yude, who also played for Adamson in the UAAP men’s volleyball, lauded his players for executing his in-game adjustments against the 12-time UAAP champion coach Ramil De Jesus.
La Salle has smart coaches and we’re also trying to scout their game plan so the players have to make adjustments inside the court and willingly follow our instructions. I’m grateful to the Lord for giving us this win and keeping my players safe. They really showed their eagerness to win,” Yude said.
Adamson, which lost Louie Romero, Trisha Tubu, Rizza Cruz, Kate Santiago, and two other Lady Falcons, remained unbeaten in five games in the SSL after handing the first loss of La Salle which played without the resting rookie MVP Angel Canino and libero Justine Jazareno.
The Lady Falcons coach stressed that his team needs to stay hungry in Game 2 to close out the series as they anticipate a bounce-back-seeking Lady Spikers’ side, which will try to force a rubber match a day after.
“We can’t be complacent in Game 2. We must continue to prepare for Game 2 and work on our lapses, especially in service receive. We won because of the effort of the players and they never gave up until the end. So there is no reason to stop,” Yude said.
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