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!
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