By Marc Dionisio
MANILA — University of the Philippines will not be fielding in any guest players in the 12th Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference. This is what head coach Jerry Yee clarified when asked who he will tap to bolster the offense of the Lady Maroons.
It’s not that they are underestimating the rest of the participants, but for the veteran coach, this is the perfect time to give exposure to his young squad before the bigger battle that is the UAAP.
“No, hindi ako kukuha ng guest player,” Yee told Rivals. “Exposure na natin ito eh. Sabihin na nilang mai-scout nila kami, we don’t care. Exposure na ito ng team namin for the UAAP. Practice na din siyempre.”
After being one of the perennial cellar-dwellers in the collegiate ranks, UP moved up a notch in Season 77 to finish in sixth place, showing the changes brought about by the multi-titled Yee.
And with the absence of injured student-athletes Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon, the coach revealed he might just include at least five freshmen in his lineup for the club league.
“Gaiser, Estranero, Lai, Basarte, Molde, Dorog, Sandoval, Alinas, Carlos, Buitre, Layug, Chopitea or Reposa and then Ong.” he said, revealing his roster.
Reiterating what this tournament means to him and to the rest of the team, he adds, “Kanya kanya kaming reasons. Hindi ko na ima-mind ‘yung sa kanila. ‘Yung sa amin, practice talaga kami.”
And unlike other squads who have a winning tradition to maintain, the Lady Maroons will be treating the V-League stint as a chance to hone their skills and enjoy the sport that has brought them together as a team.
“We didn’t actually even think about how we will finish dito sa Shakey’s. Excited lang kami na na-invite kami,” shared the coach. “Excited lang kami na maglalaro kami lalong lalo ‘yung rookies. We’re just happy to play and we will give it our all.”
“Kung anuman ‘yung finish namin hindi na namin inisip kasi ‘yung iba, I heard, talagang mage-guest player,” added the coach of Hope Christian High School. “Loaded na ‘yung original lineup nila plus meron pa silang guest players.”
“Mabigat pero we have our own goal which is to expose and learn from whatever we can learn dito.” he closed. — Rivals 2015
- This story originally appeared at Rivals.ph. Image by Rivals.ph