by Jan Carlo Gavile, Kirsten Evan Regodon and the Extra Miles
DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY – MANILA – A
I am not biased since I am a Lasallian myself but in fact, I have been impressed with the way the Lady Archers have been playing. In fact, if we were to evaluate each team, La Salle definitely is the most improved. Despite the upset they experienced against UST, I still consider this team as strong the team is more like playing without a guest player since Miss Carissa Anne Gotis is not yet that conditioned and Miss Relea Ferina Saet is seldom being put in the court. Miss Regine Diego has improved a lot in terms of digging and receiving the same with Miss Celine Hernandez who has improved a lot with her spiking and floor defense. Of course, Miss Celine is the Best Blocker in the UAAP so she really is expected to lead the blocking department together with other Green and White middle blockers Miss Jacqueline Alarca and Miss Michelle Datuin. The open spikers Miss Manilla Santos and Miss Stephanie Mercado have been doing a good job in terms of both receiving and of course, attacking. Let’s see if the comeback girls from Taft will bring home their fourth V-League title this conference. But for now, they are waxing hot and are contending to bring back the glory of De La Salle Volleyball.
ADAMSON UNIVERSITY – A
Of course, the defending champion was predicted to perform quite well since the team is still solid in terms of line-up and defense. The team has been less offensive maybe because of the absence of certain players like Miss Neriza Bautista and Miss Michaelle Segodine, but don’t look now, they are headed to top the tournament again and make it a back to back championship. Miss Angela Benting is by far, the most improved player among the Lady Falcons. Of course, she is being helped by Miss Neriza Bautista, who like what we agreed upon, the best player in the country right now. Miss Janet Serafica is still the setting queen and the reason why Miss Rissa Jane Laguilles has been making big points together with the impressive rookie Miss Maria Paulina Soriano. Ever since Miss Neriza Bautista transferred to the open position again, the Lady Falcons lost a blocker but what’s good about this is that Miss Maria Paulina Soriano has been really challenging a lot of spikes and at one point in 4 games so far, she scored 5 blocks in one game. I think she has a very big potential to make it big soon though I think the Palarong Pambansa MVP has to learn to do running spikes for more offensive options. Of course, Adamson will be another team contending for the crown and to make it a back to back for their school.
FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY – B+
Despite losing to FEU last game, the Lady Tamaraws have been impressive even if their guest players are not yet playing. Miss Joane Bunag and Miss Maria Theresa Iratay will play next week but in the games of the UAAP Champions, they created an upset over the Shakey’s V-League Champion Adamson and challenged De La Salle University into four sets. Miss Rachel Anne Daquis is back from Germany and has been leading the team with her down the line and cross court spikes. The same goes to Miss Macaila Irish Morada who has been contributing a lot also with her running and quick spikes. Miss Shaira Gonzalez revealed to us that she is indeed a versatile player since if last conference, she played as open spiker, now she is playing as middle blocker and has been impressive with the quicks and back quick attacks. Miss Cherry Mae Vivas improved a lot since she is now one of the most seasoned players of the tournament. She not only can spike and block but she is sometimes used as the team’s setter. Miss Rose Anne Taganas brought her game back with those impressive digs and all the same with Miss April Linor Jose who has been doing a good job in setting plays for the Lady Tamaraws. I wonder how the girls from Morayta will perform when their alumna and guest player will be in the fold to play for them. Who knows, they may be in the Final Four for the first time since the highest rank they got in the V-League was fifth which was two years ago. I consider them as one of the contenders especially if National Team Player and Army Veteran Miss Joanne Bunag will play for them.
SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE – RECOLETOS – B+
Miss Suzanne Roces made a booming comeback as she led the Lady Stags to victories once more. Together with the celebrated guest player, she is being helped by Miss Laurence Anne Latigay and Miss Rysabelle Devanadera. I can’t wait but to be excited when Miss Jacqueline Mondejar will be healed and will play for the girls from Recto as alumna player since as what she showed last conference, she improved a lot both in attacking and serving. With her in the fold, I think the NCAA four-peat Champions will be again a contender by winning their next few games. Miss Analyn Joy Benito has improved a lot by the way and has been a big help to the team. Of course, Miss Charisse Vernon Ancheta is still commendable for her sets but at the same time, she is being helped by Miss Mary Jane Pepito and sister Miss Margarita Pepito. San Sebastian has been frustrated and has been deprived of a lot of crowns in the past 3 years. For sure, they will use these disappointments and frustrations as motivation to be able to finally put to an end to the long wait for the crown.
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