The score won’t tell it but I was actually amazed at the game. The game featured a lot of good spikes and rallies from both teams.
NU improved a lot in floor defense. They were receiving like hell, which I honestly didn’t expect at all honestly. They knew the best way for them to win is to utilize their middles or the Santiago sisters, and the only way to do this is to improve receiving. With decent receiving, you can do almost anything. You can even always set the balls to the middle (as what Ivy has been doing during the game). Believe me, in the coming games, NU will use this strategy to win games. I also had to commend NU’s Ivy Perez who improved a lot. A lot of people have been hard on her, even me at times, but she impressed me today. She was also able to minimize her errors, which is good since before she’d make like roughly 3-4 per set. Fatima General also had a spectacular game. People said that Jen Reyes is a big loss but this second year player is doing just fine. Her receiving is commendable, making it easier for Perez to set the balls. Well, nothing new with Urdas, Pablo, Santiago and Aganon delivering for NU. Everyone knows how fierce they are. But Jaja Santiago delivered well for NU. She is the future of Philippine volleyball. Her spiking reminds me so much of Thaisa Menezes of Brasil. Jaja has 5 more years. It would be fun to see her grow, improve her blocking and develop a running attack. Experience also prevailed for NU. They knew Ateneo had rookies so most of the time, they would serve and spike the ball at rookies like Gopico, Morente and Gequillana which is not bad at all because that’s how the game should be played; As much as possible take advantage of the weaknesses of the opponent. Job well done for NU.
Ateneo actually had a fair game. It wasn’t their best, but it wasn’t their worst too. They just had a lot of errors but you can see that they’ve got skills. Valdez was unexpectedly in her element today but provided some spunk and points. Morente, Gequillana and Gopico showed skills. Morente had very good court sense, reminds me so much of Angela Benting. Gequillana reminds me of a young Fille Cainglet. Gopico has very good quicks but, the problem is, since the team didn’t have much receiving, she didn’t have much sets. But you can see that she has the power and blocking. Among all the rookies, Julia Morado proved to be steady. She is just so good. Her setting reminds me of Rhea Dimaculangan or Jem Ferrer. She’s a rookie to watch out in the coming games. Also steady a while ago was Amy Ahomiro. She had good blocking and good serving. It’s sad that she was replaced right away since along with Alyssa, she has been producing quality points for the team. If you’re a diehard Ateneo fan, you don’t need to be sad. Sure they had a lot of errors, 27 to be exact, but the team showed a lot of potential. It will be fun to see this team in the coming games especially if they improve their communication, teamwork and confidence. You know that these girls have skills, it’s just a matter of getting enough confidence and removing the nerves in the games.
It was a fun game to watch. Both sides had their own sets of good hitters but championship experience and maturity won it for NU. Congrats to NU! Good game Ateneo!