PERFECT SEASON, PERFECT RECORD for a PERFECT TEAM
Come UAAP Season 76, I don’t see any team stopping the almighty La Salle Women’s Volleyball Team this year. In fact, I don’t even see them losing a set this season (Okay they may but only a set or two). They may have close sets but at the end of the day, they will still win it.
The Lady Spikers have beefed up their already strong line-up with very good recruits. And it’s not just really all about the quantity of the players they acquired but they are also multi-awarded athletes way back in high school.
DIGGING and RECEIVING
As we have seen the past year, La Salle has focused on floor defense. Although blocking is still there, floor defense has improved tremendously. The entry of Dawn Macandili is a big boost or rather a big replacement for Melissa Gohing. The girl has very good digging and receiving which will make it even possible for La Salle to have more plays. I have seen both Gohing and Macandili, although Gohing is clutch and has carried La Salle the past years, Macandili has a very good potential to be the best libero in the UAAP.
La Salle may be having their smallest line-up in years this UAAP Season 76 but the Lady Spikers have always been good in timing with their blocks. Everyone in the first six can really block even the smaller players. So blocking won’t be a problem especially since they are really known to excel in this skill.
The team was already loaded with attackers this year. However, the entry of Des Cheng and Kim Dy will add more color to their already full-blast line-up of spikers. The good thing with La Salle is that since they have a couple of versatile players, they will be able to experiment a little bit and shuffle their rotations. You still have Marano, Galang, Reyes, Demecillo, Tan, Cerveza, Camille Cruz and many other options. When it comes to spiking, La Salle is really loaded.
La Salle has two very good setters in Kim Fajardo and Mika Esperanza. The good thing with Coach Ramil is that he kind of like playing both players in a game. As we have said in the UAAP, setters tend to be read by the opponents easily after some time. The addition of Kim Fajardo spelled horror for most teams. The girl has very good “pitik” and has good decision-making skills. Mika Esperanza does the low-fast setting tremendously. Both setters will really elevate La Salle’s game this season.
Other teams tend to overlook their serving but La Salle has the best servers in the league. All their players really make it a point to make their serves heavy. This kind of skill really makes it easier for La Salle because the opponents will have a hard time receiving balls and will not be creating plays.
Like I previously mentioned, La Salle has a good bench this year. They were able to recruit a lot of good high school players and they still have a lot of players who at least experienced a championship or two.
LEADERSHIP and SWAG
Aby Marano is no doubt the team’s leader. She has very good motivating skills and she really leads by example. She makes sure her team won’t relax or won’t lose the confidence in every game. Well, swag will always be there for the La Salle team especially with the addition of Des Cheng.
CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM, SYSTEM, CONFIDENCE and EXPERIENCE
Notice that when teams are up against La Salle, they somewhat get intimidated right away that they tend to put on their worst games ever? That’s what La Salle brings to the table. They tend to bring out the worst in the teams. They are not really just very good in skills but they are also sort of like the opponents’ kryptonite that whatever they do, the opponents are either afraid or down psychologically. Of course, when it comes to the crucial stages, La Salle will always have that. They have always been in the Finals the past 10 years and they have the right formula for winning these kinds of games. They already have this winning system that they just keep on implementing year in and year out. This is their big advantage as compared to the other teams, which is why with an intact line-up, excellent program and with very good acquisition of players, the championship is really theirs to lose this year.
La Salle will really get that 4-peat title and will sweep the season and won’t lose a set in the coming UAAP Season 76. They all have the skills, necessary fundamentals and intangibles to have a perfect season this year.
Who will they face the Finals? That’s another worthy blog post worth commenting. But for sure, the 2nd place will be like a championship for the other 7 teams already.
Thank you for reading and God Bless. 🙂
So here we are again in the mysterious part of every UAAP Season; the guessing game as to how teams will perform in one season. Like I said, the incoming rookies in the UAAP Season 76 might just probably be the most talented batch in history. However, of course, they will still be tested when the real games begin. Some recruits indeed perform well in high school but mess up or adjusts longer than the others in college. Of course in the UAAP, composure and experience are really big factors. A rookie is still a rookie.
The impact players I’m going to post are derived from observations as to how they play in high school. Haha. I know I know. Some might call it hype or something but like I said I also see the potential in everyone that’s why I don’t consider anyone hype. They won’t be recruited if coaches never saw the potential in them to be developed or to be a good player. But definitely, this rookie batch is really worth something. This batch can even form two teams in the UAAP and still be competitive.
The list doesn’t necessarily mean that these players are not good. I put them here because I think the team they are joining in still has very good and experienced players or are still loaded in those positions. Believe me, these players are really good too.
10. Tricia Santos (UST) – 5’8 outside hitter
With the improvement of Pam Lastimosa, Mela Tunay and Gi Reyes, Tricia Santos really has to earn that spot. The talent is there because I have seen her play before in Angelicum. She will definitely be a star for UST someday, she just has to wait and be a role player for now because the three mentioned earned enough experience to be competitive for next year.
9. Rizza Amaro (FEU) – 5’6 middle blocker
While Rizza Amaro has the moves and the potential to be good, her height might be a hindrance. But nevertheless, she packs a lot of power and has good service. She reminds me so much of a smaller Marge Tejada. Same power and same service. Also worth mentioning is that she can lead her team well.
8. April Romero (UP) – 5’7 middle blocker
Power quicks and running attacks are what she will bring to the table. This girl plays a lot like the legendary Mhica Morada because she moves and spikes like her. One thing you’d notice when you see her play is that she has a right amount of swag. She does stare downs and trashtalks when needed.
7. Arriane Layug (DLSU) – 5’8 outside hitter
When I saw her play in the Shakey’s V-League and Palarong Pambansa, I knew she’d be recruited by one of the UAAP schools. Arriane plays a lot like Michele Gumabao. She is powerful and at the same time, smart. Blocking and serving are also her assets. If she will improve her floor defense, she will be one player to watch out for soon. Placed her here because DLSU still has Ara Galang, Des Cheng, Cyd Demecillo and Camille Cruz.
6. Jana Sta. Maria (FEU) – 5’8 middle blocker
Jana has very good movement in the court and has a good contact with the ball. Her big plus is that she can hit both quick and running attacks, which not every middle blocker in high school can do. The downside though is that Jana has to compete with national player Rem Palma and a good rookie Kath Barrinuevo for the spot. But let’s see how she will turn things around.
5. Alyssa Layug (UP) – 6’0 middle blocker
Her height is definitely a big asset. There was this one game in Palaro when she had 11 blocks in the game. That was probably one of the reasons why UP recruited her. If you guys still remember Utaiwan Kaensing, she plays exactly like her. With a good coach like Jerry Yee, let’s hope she will be turned into a middle monster someday. I put her here because UP will have loaded middles next year in Lamis El Sayed (if she is playing), Kathy Bersola and Nika Ong.
4. Glenda Agang (DLSU) – 5’7 middle blocker/outside hitter
Glenda caught my attention last January when she went here in Manila for the V-League. She has very good hitting and can see a lot of holes in the opponent’s court. She will be an asset to any team. The floor defense, blocking, serving and even leadership are there. Both the outside and middle positions are still loaded in the DLSU team that’s why I placed her here.
3. Jorelle Singh (NU) – 5’7 outside hitter
Jorelle Singh’s floor defense is really one of her big assets aside from her hitting and serving. She’d wow a lot of people with her power hits but sometimes when impatient with the defense of the opponent, she’d either make an error or get blocked. I put her here because aside from Aiko Urdas, Myla Pablo and Sheshe Dadang, winger Mina Aganon has improved a lot too.
2. Jema Galanza (AdU) – 5’7 outside hitter
What’s funny is that both Galanza and Singh are like twins because they play and look exactly alike. The difference lies now on the defense because Jema is more of a blocker than a floor defender. Jema Galanza is a big asset to Adamson but experienced players like Amanda Villanueva, Mayette Zapanta and Bang Pineda are still there which is why she still has to wait for a year before she can probably start.
1. Kim Dy (DLSU) – 5’10 middle blocker
Gameface/All Business is one thing you would notice when you see Kim Dy on the court. She is always serious and plays oh so well. Her running attacks are also efficient aside from her quick attacks. Blocking is definitely her big asset though. She’s not just tall but she has very good timing as well. I put her here because she has to contend against the like of Aby Marano and Mika Reyes who are both doing well in the middle. But, she might have a chance. I really think she has big potential.
Next pages: 16 players who will make an impact in the UAAP wars