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Sports

Interim coach says Lady Warriors distracted by Yee suspension

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Interim coach says Lady Warriors distracted by Yee suspension
Interim coach Obet Vital (right) said that his players’ minds were not completely in the game.
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – The UE Lady Warriors struggled to find their focus as they absorbed a four-set loss to the Adamson Lady Falcons in the first round of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.

This was because UE head coach Jerry Yee was handed a suspension for the rest of the tournament for “committing acts inconsistent with the purposes of the association” hours before their game against the Lady Falcons kicked off.

Interim coach Obet Vital said that his players’ minds were not completely in the game.

“You know, maybe they were just thinking about the stuff that’s happening off the court. So they had a very very slow start,” said Vital after the game.

“By the time they started firing it up, we’re in the third set already and in the fourth set. So, I think that’s what happened in the first two sets. So we came out flat,” he added.

Still, the Lady Warriors finally showed some fight in the third set where they forced the match extension for a fourth set.

In the fourth canto, UE came close to forcing a winner-take-all fifth set, but a misreceive on Jen Villegas’ serve doomed their bid for a comeback from a 0-2 hole. Falling to 1-3, Vital could only lament his team’s mindset.

“Although we tried to pump them up and talk about the things that needed to be done, especially for today given the situation, very important game, and we’re playing for Coach Jerry… Sometimes it’s mentally tough for the kids to handle it especially having so many rookies on the court and then this issue comes at the last minute,” he said.

With the rest of the season still ahead, Vital promised that he and the rest of the Lady Warriors will continue to push, hoping to have Yee back as soon as possible.

“We just keep on chipping and chipping and chipping away and they’re gonna improve. We’re just gonna continue to improve and then hopefully, start surprising people even more,” he said.

UE faces defending champions DLSU Lady Spikers next on Wednesday, March 6, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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UAAP

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