University of the Philippines is taking a different approach in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament after a heartbreaking campaign last year.
The Fighting Maroons want to keep it low-key, focusing on the task at hand and keeping their minds on their goal. They don’t want to be distracted and pressured by high expectations just like what happened in Season 81.
Coming off two pre-season titles, UP was tipped to vie for the throne last year. But the then ‘Lady Maroons’ fell short of making it in the Final Four as they closed the season at fifth spot with a 6-8 win-loss record.
This time, UP quietly prepared for the battle ahead. No hype, no distraction, less pressure.
For graduating senior Isa Molde what’s important this season is for the Fighting Maroons to just play their game and not worry too much about other people thinks.
“Personally, gusto ko ‘yung team mag-enjoy every game,” said Molde, the Season 78 Rookie of the Year.
She stresses that at the end of the day the success of the team will still depend on how they will work to achieve it.
"’Wag dapat isipin yung expectations ng iba. Sarili lang namin iintindihin namin,” said Molde.
Despite the departure of reliable setter Ayel Estranero and Marian Buitre, the Godfrey Okumu-mentored squad could be considered as the most experienced team this year with key returnees.
Aside from Molde, also making another tour of duty are seniors Tots Carlos, last year's third leading scorer averaging 15 points per game and 4.02 digs per set, Justine Dorog, Rem Cailing and middles Jessma Ramos and Marist Layug.
Third year player and skipper Rosie Rosier puts this season as a year of redemption for the Fighting Maroons. An opportunity to cultivate a winning culture.
“We're trying to change the motto na puro fighting lang,” said Rosier. “We want to implement the winning attitude, the winning mentality. The fighting should change to winning.”