The past three editions of the UAAP Men’s Volleyball tournament have been tough for the Green Spikers. Ever since Season 77, the Green Spikers have settled for sixth place. However, with a stronger grit to improve and a more focused execution of their determined goal, the Taft-based squad is up for the challenge as it aims to work for its desired result this season.
Evaluation for progression
The Green Spikers have experienced being under three coaches for the past four years. From Coach Ronald Dulay to Coach Nes Pamilar and now, they are under the guidance of Coach Norman Miguel. The new head coach emphasizes that the team’s performances in the previous seasons could be linked to how the players have undergone different systems. “So imagine kung paano yung pinagdaanan yung proseso ng team considering na the same players yun, parang pa iba-iba yung sistema.”
(So imagine what the team went through, considering those were all the same players with different systems.)
“Talagang sinasama naman talaga na if bago yung coach, nag-aadjust yung team talaga kasi isang buong season yon,” team captain Mike Frey adds. Aside from transitioning to a new coaching style, Frey shares that injuries were also a crucial factor that affected the team last season as he and teammate Raymark Woo were unable to suit up for most games last Season 79.
Miguel also mentions that he focused on developing the formation of character as he believes the team was technically skilled but the winning attitude of the players had not matured. He simply became stricter with the schedule of training. Miguel adds that if the team wanted to win, they would have to step up their game. “Talagang-talaga mahigpit ako dyan: train, train, train, work hard, work hard, work hard. Kasi sa tingin ko it will pay off talaga.”
A notable player that will not be playing this season is the starting setter of the Green Spikers, Geuel Asia. Miguel explains that Asia was the team’s veteran setter and that the player who will be filling that role this year will be Wayne Marco. “Siya yung reliever last year ni Geuel Asia, so Wayne Marco is now the starting setter for the team.” As for the rest of the lineup, he says that players remain the same.
Continuing, , Frey shares that, in order to prevent injuries from hindering the team this year his coach has become very serious about the matter. He says that there is someone who watches over the players from the point when they stretch before practices to after training. He mentions that the players and the coach are really close because of their team building. “Para sa akin, malaking factor yon para sa incoming games namin. “
The Green Spikers’ head coach makes certain that his priority when it comes to instilling his system is discipline. Other than paying attention to their skills-focused trainings, concentrated on setting and defense, Miguel also makes sure that his players never compromise their academics. ”I want them to concentrate talaga merely sa pagpapa-practice, sa UAAP, sa tournament and sa studies nila. Ganon ako ka-strict sa kanila,” says Miguel.
He continues, “Train harder, palagi ko silang nireremind na, if you really want to get something, you have to work hard for it. And this time, you really have to get something dito sa UAAP.”
As for expectations, the team hopes to do better than it has in the previous few years. “Conservatively, we want to enter the final four,” says the coach. In addition, the team captain is confident that the team will execute the necessary steps towards their goal. “For the team, game per game muna kami. Yun talaga yung main goal namin, first round win muna tapos Final Four.” Frey states that he and his team will focus on everything on a per goal basis, focusing first on each game, before the Final Four and the championship