“Importante sa game na ‘to, natututo tayo.”
The Lady Falcons may have surrendered another 3-set loss, but spirits were still high as they entered the locker room. Unlike previous outings, the Lady Falcons were beginning to see the fruits of their labor.
Coach Onyok was well aware of Ateneo’s height advantage, an aspect that he noted time and again would be the biggest hurdle to his team. “Ang lalaki nila, ang sisipag pa,” remarked coach Onyok about their opponent, who now sits at the top of the elimination round standings.
The winds of change began to blow for the Lady Falcons in the second set. Undaunted by Ateneo’s height, the Lady Falcons went on the offensive, with rookies Chen Ave and Trisha Genesis leading the offense, challenging Ateneo’s blockers with devastating spikes.
The thrilling back and forth saw the Lady Falcons lead the second technical timeout and even threaten with set point. But ultimately Ateneo was able to slip through the cracks and rally back, forcing the deuce and taking the set.
Brandishing a sharper skill set, the Lady Falcons continued putting on the pressure in the third. Chiara Permentilla and Bernadette Flora led the charge, bashing their way to team highs in scoring. Meanwhile the rest of the Lady Falcons secured the defensive lines led by libero Thang Ponce who threw everything she had to save rallies, including one where she kicked a ball alive.
Despite the loss, the coaching staff was happy with the performance of the players who forced Ateneo to earn their points, committing less errors than the opponent throughout the game.
Coach Onyok was happy with the performance of the team although they did not get the outcome they wanted. “Kahit na talo tayo, ano pakiramdam niyo?” He pointed out to the players. “Yung connection ko sa inyo, dumidikit na.”
Beaten but unbowed the Lady Falcons are motivated to close out their season on a high note against UP on Saturday.