SAGAYSAY, INOCENTES DELIVER AFTER ‘BEGGING’ ADAMSON COACH FOR PLAYING TIME
Adamson head coach JP Yude had no surprises planned for Game 2 of the UAAP Season 85 Girls’ Volleyball Finals Saturday at the Paco Arena.
With his usual starters, Yude was banking on the Baby Falcons’ familiarity with each other in their fourth attempt of the season to at least put a dent on Nazareth School of National University’s unbeaten run.
But when the chips were down early in the match, the coach glanced at the bench and saw setter Felicity Sagaysay and middle blocker Fionna Inocentes practically begging for a chance to help the team.
In fact, on the eve of the match, Inocentes approached Yude to bravely ask the coach for some minutes.
“Kahapon palang, si Inocentes sabi sa’kin: ‘Coach, pasok mo’ko. Pag nagkamali ako dalawang beses labas mo ako.’ Lumapit talaga siya mismo and I knew gusto niya talaga,” Yude shared to Akari Sports.
And when the timing was right, early in the match following errors from starter Yesha Rojo, Yude called his brave Baby Falcon for duty.
“Nagkamali dalawang beses si Yesha Rojo kaya pinasok ko siya. Ramdam ko kasi na nasa heart niya na gustong gusto niya ipaglaban ang Adamson,” the coach said.
Aside from the eagerness to be of help, the lanky blocker also brought some swag as she played mind games with the opponents at the net.
Yude, and perhaps the universe, was quick to put a stop to Inocentes’ overzealousness as she sent a serve to the net right after she scored a point off a block kill.
On focusing on the goal, the soft-spoken Yude shares: “Sabi ko sa kanya always be humble. Pagdating ng service nag-outside. Siya na nagsabi mismo: ‘Coach, pinitik ako ni Lord. Yumayabang ako.’ Kaya always be humble.”
Then came another crucial adjustment.
Starting setter Jao Cuenca was connecting well with her wing spikers but was having trouble finding her rhythm in her quick sets.
This forced Yude to utilize Sagaysay, Adamson’s smaller and less experienced second setter.
In spite of these disadvantages, the playmaker proved to be a worthy replacement as she connected with all her spikers, played decent net defense, while also showcasing her agility on the floor with her digging.
Naturally, Yude was impressed.
“Sobrang na-amaze ako,” he shared.
“Nakita ko na ‘yun sa training. I saw it rin pag kalaban nila ang Lady Falcons. Gustong-gusto niya rin eh. Kanina pa ako tinatawag sa sideline na ipasok ko siya. Pinag-ready ko and pinakita niya na deserve niya,” he added.
In the crucial fifth frame, with Adamson ahead by a point at 5-4, Sagaysay struggled to move in the middle of a rally due to cramps on her leg.
And though Cuenca was ready to finish the match on her behalf, Sagaysay chose to shrug off the pain and continue playing.
On the next rally, she restored a two-point lead for the San Marcelino squad with a one-two play no one expected from a hurt player.
Sagaysay used the same one-two play a few sequences later to seal the win for the Baby Falcons.
“Buti na lang pulikat lang. Hindi sprain,” shared Yude, heaving a sigh of relief.