DLSU made sure that its second half teams are physically and mentally ready prior to their respective UAAP campaigns that would start this November by wreaking havoc in this year’s UniGames.
The Green-and-White squads bagged a total of three gold, four silver and a bronze in this year’s UniGames.
Six of eight podium finishers will play in the second half of the UAAP. The Green and Lady Paddlers, which placed second and first, respectively; have done their fair share in the first half of the season. The lone third place finish was from the Lady Booters.
Immaculate run for the Lady Spikers
The Lady Spikers has proved time and time again that no other women’s team can beat the squad by sweeping another major tourney in the UniGames with a 7-0 record, including routs to UST and DLS-CSB in the semifinals and the finals, respectively.
The Lady Spikers made another Cinderella run, which has redeemed the team’s one year absence in the UniGames.
The team now boasts of new recruits, among them are two blue chip rookies Joy Baron and Justine Tiu. Both will provide much-needed firepower from the wings and defensive stops, respectively.
Head Coach Ramil de Jesus pointed out though that although the two have seen action in the recent UniGames, they will not suit up for the upcoming season to provide the seniors playing time.
The squad will once again lean on reigning MVP Abigail Morano, defensive stopper Michelle Gumabao, setter Mika Esperanza and sophomores Mika Reyes and reigning Rookie of the Year Ara Galang to record a three-peat.
Getting over the hump
The Lady Woodpushers replicated its UAAP 74 campaign with another bridesmaid finish in the recently concluded UniGames behind familiar foe University of the Philippines.
After losing key UAAP veterans Aices Salvador and Akiko Suede to graduation, the two-time defending champion showed its maturity and experience as the team came in tied for first with UP-Diliman. The Taft-based squad, however, but had to yield the title to its Maroon counterpart via the “win-over-the-other” rule.
With the young core of reigning UAAP MVP Jan Jodilyn Fronda, sophomore Cherry Ann Mejia and veteran Judith Pineda still intact, the Lady Woodpushers recorded another top three finish this season.
Former Lady Woodpusher and present Assistant Coach Susan Neri was impressed with her teams’ performance as the players became wiser and more mature. She furthered, “Competing is not about winning but learning. We kept our fortitude.”
The Green Woodpushers, on the other hand, showed a glimpse of a promising season, finishing its UniGames 2012 campaign as bridesmaid to DLS-CSB.
Top-caliber recruits Jeazzir Kline Surposa, Christian Manola, and Denzel Jhon Amar will complement holdovers Aglipay Oberio, Franz Robert Grafil and Jan Nigel Galan this time around.
Co-Team Captain Oberio shared that the UniGames provided the squad, particularly the rookies, on-court experience, which will come in handy in the upcoming UAAP season.
“Even though our freshmen didn’t perform that well in the UniGames, they were able to improve their sense of playing as team members,” shared Oberio.
The rookie-laden squad will try to improve its fourth place finish last UAAP season. The team is also expecting at the very least a top three finish this season.
Fresh from the top
Both bagging silver and gold medals respectively, the Green and Lady Tennisters look to continue their dominance in the upcoming second half of the UAAP.
Coming off overall champion in the men’s division of UAAP 74, the Green Tennisters finished UniGames 2012 with a loss to UST.
The Lady Tennisters, on the other hand, defeated DLSU’s sister school, DLS-CSB Blazers, to reap the gold in the women’s division.
Ernesto Pantua, who brought gold in season 74, almost sealed the gold for the Taft-based squad, but succumbed to Barte from UST in the singles division.
Although the Green Tennisters did not bag the top spot in this year’s UniGamesthe team is pumped to defend its UAAP title.
Meanwhile, the Lady Tennisters’ gold medal finish hints a better UAAP bid this year.
Geared up for the UAAP
Having six second half squads with podium finishes in the UniGames, DLSU stands a good chance in the second half of its UAAP campaign. DLSU may just snap UST’s phenomenal 14-year GC winning streak if the University successfully snares its first GC championship.