SWOT Analysis of UAAP Season 77 Women’s Volleyball

So we’re done with the 2nd round. Below are my SWOT analyses for every team in the 1st round of UAAP Women’s Volleyball. Enjoy!

UE (8th, 0-7)

STRENGTHS:
Coach and to be fair, their blocking really improved and in a way, their floor defense
WEAKNESSES:
Winning attitude, No leader, No offense, Setting
OPPORTUNITIES:
To be frank, they are out of the competition. I hope they will use this 2nd round to grow, to learn from opponents and to be better for next year. Likewise, the off-season should be a good time for them to get experience, get their selves exposed and to recruit better.
THREATS:
– None

UST (7th, 2-5)

STRENGTHS:
Blocking has always been the strength of Odjie Mamon’s system. Offense is loaded. You have Lastimosa, Rondina, Laure, Tunay, Meneses, De Leon.
WEAKNESSES:
Leadership, In-game Mentality, Teamwork, Consistency. Setting sometimes and floor defense.
OPPORTUNITIES:
Use their new found confidence. They still have a chance to make it to the Final Four, they just have to win like 5/7 of their 2nd round games to make it. Based on their 2nd round games, they can match up well, they just can’t match up well.
THREATS:
Of course, there are like 4 other teams in search of a Final Four berth so they need to work double time if they really want to make it. Peaking teams. Ateneo and La Salle.

FEU (6th, 3-4)

STRENGTHS:
Floor defense and offense. They have a lot of good attackers too; Basas, Pons, Palma, Casugod, Simborio.
WEAKNESSES:
Consistency, Leadership and In-game mentality. Yeah, consistency. They won against NU, had a close game with La Salle but then they lost to UST in 4 and to Adamson in 3.
OPPORTUNITIES:
Use their floor defense and blocking. Though they are at 6th, they are at par with 3 other teams so they just need to beat the other teams tied with them for them to enter the Final Four.
THREATS:
Peaking teams. If they won’t pick up their game and be consistent, it’s gonna be hard for them to catch up. Ateneo and La Salle.

Adamson (5th, 3-4)

STRENGTHS:
Strong start. Strong wingers (Paat, Villanueva and Galanza). Of course, their FLOOR DEFENSE has always been their strength. Resiliency.
WEAKNESSES:
Like the two teams mentioned above, consistency. They had good games before the year ended but when 2015 came in, they lost back to back. I don’t know if they are still in vacation mode but they need to start winning again.
OPPORTUNITIES:
Lucky for them, they are 3-4 and they are tied with 2 other teams so they can still catch up. They have good wingers, so they can use the three to dominate.
THREATS:
Peaking teams and since 5 of them are still in search of a Final Four berth, they need to win most, if not all of their games. Ateneo and La Salle.

UP (4th, 3-4)

STRENGTHS:
Good coach, Low-fast offense, floor defense, blocking, setting. Almost everything really. Offense is loaded as well in Angeli Araneta, Nicole Tiamzon, Yen Ilustre and Vina Alinas.
WEAKNESSES:
Experience. They have it all, just the end game composure of all the players.
OPPORTUNITIES:
If they can make it close with the strong teams, who knows, in the 2nd round they can win over them. Let’s see. They need to ride on with momentum and beat the other teams.
THREATS:
Kathy Bersola’s injury. Although they are at #4, it’s not a safe ranking since like I said, there are 5 teams chasing the Final Four berths so they need to double their effort in the 2nd round. Ateneo and La Salle.

NU (3rd, 4-3)

STRENGTHS:
Based on their first two games and the last two games, floor defense. Coach Roger Gorayeb and Jaja Santiago. They have a good coach and a milking cow. Aside from Jaja Santiago, they still have a Myla Pablo and promising new entries in the starting six.
WEAKNESSES:
Setting. Blocking is shaky. Let’s face it, they don’t have as much offense as compared to the other teams.
OPPORTUNITIES:
They’re solo 3rd and with a new system (which has been working so far), they can improve their win-loss record and maybe even beat one of the top two teams. Let’s see.
THREATS:
Peaking teams. Teams who almost defeated them in the 1st round. Teams who know how Coach Roger works his magic. Ateneo and La Salle.

La Salle (2nd, 6-1)

STRENGTHS:
Ara Galang, Ara Galang and Ara Galang. Coach Ramil. Blocking has always been their strength but serving really improved big time. Good bench players.
WEAKNESSES:
In a way, floor defense and a Marano-like leader. But they’re not as bad as compared to other teams. Predictable offense at times. Setter likes going to the wings.
OPPORTUNITIES:
They can use this 2nd round to improve their weaknesses and they can involve more players in their offense
THREATS:
Pressure to avenge, Pressure to stop a possible winning streak, Peaking teams or teams who are hungry for a Final Four berth. Ateneo.

Ateneo (1st, 7-0)

STRENGTHS:
Almost every skill. Alyssa Valdez. Denden Lazaro. Kiwi Ahomiro, Jia Morado. Bea De Leon. Ella De Jesus. Jho Maraguinot and Mich Morente. Happy, Unity and Heart Strong attitude.
WEAKNESSES:
Too much errors every game. Opposite position not as solid although not so much as a weakness. Blocking although not so much too based on their defensive patterns.
OPPORTUNITIES:
Lessen their errors, raise the level of play in the 2nd round
THREATS:
Pressure to maintain their winning streak. Peaking teams. La Salle.

Let’s hope the 2nd round will be even more exciting! Good Luck to all teams!

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Best of 2014: My picks for Best Filipino Volleyball Players and Moments

MY TOP MEN’S VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS FOR 2014

1. Ran Abdilla (PLDT) – Amazing talent. Prolly the best men’s player in the country.

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2. Marck Espejo (Ateneo) – Rookie-MVP and still rockin it in 77. Great talent despite the young age.

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3. Howard Mojica (EAC/Cignal) – Amazing, Smart and Powerful

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4. Mark Alfafara (UST) – Prolific Scorer and never say die attitude

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5. Michael Sudaria (Adamson) – Small but terrible

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6. Ish Polvorosa (Ateneo) – Talented setter. Smart, fast and a great leader.

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7. JP Pareja (Ateneo) – Great leadership aside from his commendable talent in floor defense

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8. Peter Torres (NU) – Deadly running attack and has very good blocking

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9. Raymark Woo (La Salle) – Silent Assasin

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10. Vince Mangulabnan (NU) – Great setter

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11. Myco Antonio (Systema) – One of the most powerful lefties in the country

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12. Rence Melgar (Adamson) – Has great floor defense and a libero-leader too

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Why La Salle Lady Spikers is sure of winning the 4-peat in UAAP Season 76

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.

BLOCKING

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.

ATTACKING

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.

SETTING

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.

SERVING

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.

BENCH

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.

MY THOUGHTS

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. 🙂

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UAAP Women’s Volleyball full 1st round schedule

Just got this schedule from my good friend and this year’s team captain of the Ateneo Lady Eagles Dzi Gervacio (of course with her permission)! Thank You Dzi and Good Luck!

Like I said, it’s gonna be one hell of an opening weekend! Might just be the best opening weekend in UAAP Volleyball in so many years I have been watching. All games could go up to 5 sets!

Good Luck to all teams and have a good season!

Thoughts on TV5’s Premier Volleyball League (Pro League for Women’s Volleyball)

So the latest buzz  in volleyball community is the intention of TV5 to actually have a professional volleyball league for women’s volleyball players. A lot of people are excited about this because we can see the legendary players of different UAAP, NCAA and WNCAA teams playing again. Some rivalries will be renewed but most likely, majority of the players will play with players from other teams. I highly doubt that one corporate team will be school-based. Of course, as much as possible, these teams want to get the best players they can get so the line-ups will be mixed for sure. It will also be fun to see them play together, especially the players of UST and FEU, Ateneo and La Salle and many other players who are involved in a rivalry.

I also like the intention of TV5 that they will not compete against Shakey’s. I guess it’s enough for Shakey’s to continue on what they do best; host the collegiate games with guest players, and maybe leave all the professional duties to TV5’s Premier Volleyball League. After all, they became famous because of these collegiate teams. I say just let Shakey’s continue in nurturing and improving these players through these leagues so that in their own mother leagues or just through playing random games, they will still showcase amazing volleyball skills. Shakey’s has done enough already in promoting volleyball and we are all so grateful for that. Because of them, the NCAA and UAAP volleyball games are now televised and they are played in bigger venues. So yes, without Shakey’s, let’s face it, volleyball would still be nothing in the Philippines. It has been a one-man team for Shakey’s and I guess, it’s time for the other entities to step up and contribute in this stage to promote volleyball even more.

Having a professional league is a very good move especially for Philippine Volleyball. This move will not only make volleyball even more popular but it will also help boost the quality of the games and talent here in the country. I think Philippines is lagging in terms of skills because of the fact that after the UAAP, NCAA or WNCAA, we don’t have any more leagues that these “legendary” players can play in. Sure there is an Open Conference in the V-League or other minor leagues, but these leagues are only short-time leagues which is why the skills don’t get developed. Instead of having constant training, and also getting more exposure through the games or maybe even through foreign coaches and players, we are just limited to a 3-month league.

Of course, these things result to the players not being in shape in time for certain tournaments. I remember Suzanne Roces’s case in her guest player stint with Ateneo last summer; she wasn’t in condition because she rested for like months since her last tournament was last September 2011, which is why she had a hard time playing and keeping up with the Ateneo Lady Eagles. It was only in Sandugo that she was able to regain her old form and body back. From this, we can already say that we really need a pro league, one where there would be a lot of conferences to play in. With constant exposure and training and support from different teams, our players will be able to enhance their skills and play on a higher level.

Aside from these, I really think having a professional league will contribute in having a very competitive National Team. This is what the Turks did before in their Aroma Turkish Leagues; they hired a couple of foreign coaches and players to play in their league and in return, they were able to learn from them in terms of skills, training and many other things. Needless to say, it was a mutual sort of thing. Of course, these foreign players and coaches contributed well in helping Turkey in their program, but Turkey also helped them financially by paying a good amount of money. I guess we can all start from here and mirror their program to ours. After all, Turkey was not in the volleyball scene before and just recently, they having been reaping their efforts by winning 3rd place in the FIVB World Grand Prix. The progress is not that fast. It was a slow thing and they had to take several steps before they accomplished this. It took approximately 5 years for them to achieve this. Of course, it involves a lot of money, and that’s where the sponsors here in the Philippines can come in!

Hopefully, with MVP’s support and all the other sports aficionados who are rich, maybe we can also tap foreign coaches and players to replicate what Turkey has done. Of course, these things do not only pertain to the foreigners but also the local players who should have very good compensation to be motivated to play and to choose to play volleyball after graduating instead of the usual work. For the players to get motivated, I say make them earn like 50,000 pesos a month. That is enough I guess considering that the PBA companies pay their players roughly around 200,000 pesos a month. So compared to that, this is still a cheap investment. It just really needs the passion and willingness of these people to support the sport. If we follow these, then we can see a much improved volleyball for the Philippines. With proper exposure, it will also motivate the kids, especially the girls, to play volleyball and to hone their skills as early as 7 or 8.

It’s really nice to see people working together for Philippine volleyball. I can’t wait for this and I am so excited about it. I really hope it will be successful! It’s really time to put volleyball on the map among Filipinos!