Castillo on building NU's character: 'When you lose, that’s when you win'
MANILA, Philippines – The National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs were leading 2-0 into match – taking two sets from Ateneo with a scoreline of 25-19 apiece – on Wednesday, February 7.
The Ateneo Lady Eagles were on the verge of getting swept, but NU's errors in the 3rd set provided the momentum the Lady Eagles needed to rally back from a two-set deficit and extend the match to a 5th set.
The 5-set thriller could be anyone's game at this point. The Lady Bulldogs immediately shifted the momentum back to them, making 8 straight points to close out the game – including Jasmine Nabor's 3 straight service aces.
Despite being only a first year coach of the Lady Bulldogs, Babes Castillo already traced the lackluster performance back to the "old behavior" of the Lady Bulldogs. The 5th set all boiled down to the girls' character of affirming their mistakes, but moving on with a positive outlook to the game.
"They trusted each other as one character I saw. I’ve seen this group of ladies before, 3 years ago, 4 years ago ang normal na ginagawa nila kapag ganyan (tambak na) they don’t affirm and confirm each other. Kanina hindi eh, smile lang," said Castillo.
(They trusted each other as one character I saw. I've seen this group of ladies before, 3 years ago, 4 years ago and it's normal that if they're losing big, they don't affirm and confrim each other. But a while ago it wasn't like that, they smiled at each other)
"Kanina ipinakita nila na (A while ago, they showed that) sometimes when you lose that’s when you win and I think that’s what happened in the 3rd and 4th sets eh."
Castillo also gave credit to team captain Jaja Santiago for lifting the spirits of Jasmine Nabor in the 3rd and 4th set. Nabor tallied a total of 11 points with 7 coming from service aces.
"Si Jaja ang unsung hero kanina. Si Jasmine made all the points but si Jaja ‘yung nagbibigay ng stability kay Jasmine," said Castillo.
(Jaja was the unsung hero a while ago. Jasmine made all the points, but Jaja was the one who gave stability to Jasmine.)
Santiago almost breached her career high in the game as she led the Bulldogs with 26 points off 20 attacks, 4 blocks and 2 aces. The team captain is settling into her position well by being a positive influence to the rest of the other 10 players in the team.
"Well so far nag-eenjoy ako sa ladies lalo na kay Jaja because siya 'yung leader ng team. Si Jasmine nakikinig sa kanya [as long as] si Jaja ganyan ka positive, ganyan ka aggressive."
(Well so far, the ladies are enjoying because Jaja is the leader of the team. Jasmine listens to her, [as long as] Jaja is that positive and that aggressive.)
The NU Lady Bulldogs will face the University of the East Lady Warriors on Sunday, February 11 at the Filoil Flying V Arena. – Rappler.com