10. Kaka Sandoval (UST) – 5’8 middle blocker/outside hitter
Although a very shy player, Kaka Sandoval can deliver a lot of strong kills. Her big plus is that she can play both outside and middle. With Maika Ortiz gone, I’m expecting her to grab that other middle spot. Jessey De Leon has improved so much and with her around, UST could have two solid middles. I’d love for her to develop the running attacks because she has shown a lot already in doing quick and wing hits. She has the form and the power to do running attacks. Let’s just hope UST will polish it come UAAP.
9. Kim Gequillana (ADMU) – 5’9 middle blocker/outside hitter/opposite
More than her skills, I always refer to her as a “clutch” player. She’d normally be the one to score points when her team needs it or if the game is at the crucial moments. Back in Palaro, when Western Visayas was down 20-24, she scored 4 straight points to tie the game and another 3 during deuces. Aside from being clutch, her versatility is really a big asset. She can hit anywhere; backrow, outside, right wing, quick and running. Without Gretchen Ho and Dzi Gervacio, she might just be what Ateneo needs come UAAP.
8. Bernadette Pons (FEU) – 5’7 outside hitter
With Rose Vargas gone in the FEU team, the Lady Tamaraws were able to find a very good replacement. Of course, Bernadette is still a rookie but I have this bold prediction that she will be FEU’s top player or leading scorer come UAAP. She packs a lot of power and she leaps very high. Her jump service (which is kinda similar to Dzi Gervacio) is another offensive option she will have come UAAP. Her floor defense and blocking are pretty decent too but what separates her from the other FEU rookies is her leadership. She talks to her teammates a lot during games, even teaching them how to block and dig better.
7. Mylene Paat (AdU) – 5’11 opposite
I was really surprised when I saw this rookie of Adamson. I didn’t expect that she’d be so good but at the same time I was glad to see that Adamson will finally have a tall player who has good hitting and monster blocking. Up against Thai imports and talented players, Mylene Paat is one of V-League’s best blockers and given good sets, she can really score a lot for her team. For a tall opposite like her, she has very good floor defense which is why she will definitely be a big one for Adamson.
6. Yen Ilustre (UP) – 5’7 opposite/middle blocker/outside hitter
Just by looking at her, you’d know she’s a strong player. Yen has power and like Kim Gequillana, she can also hit anywhere. Her serving is one big weapon she can bring to the Lady Maroons. She can definitely frustrate the receivers of the opposing team. Aside from serving, she also has good blocking and floor defense. When it comes to hitting, she already has power and plays smart most of the time. She’d go for off the blocks and drop shots if she sees an opening in the other court. She will be a big factor for UP.