Green and Lady Spikers: Ready, set, spike

As a new season approaches, so do new expectations. The DLSU Green and Lady Spikers are up for the challenge.

“As of now, we are expecting to be in the top four kasi [because] last year we placed fifth,” Green Spikers Head Coach Sammy Acaylar said regarding his expectations about the Green Spikers.

Coach Acaylar is confident of his wards inching closer to the UAAP crown, which they last won early in the decade, in 2003. After their notable performance in the 15th Philippine University Games (UniGames), other squads can now consider these hard-hitting Green Spikers a serious threat.

The team was able to barge into the quarterfinals of the said event, compared with the previous year when the team failed to advance after the elimination round. With the UniGames done, the Green Spikers now set their eyes on the once-familiar UAAP championship and look to finally end the seven-year title drought.

The Taft-based squad endeavored to fortify their reception and floor defense and polish one cornerstone of their artillery, blocking. Another facet in the Green Spikers’ arsenal to be utilized is their height advantage.

The Green Spikers banner a powerhouse lineup spearheaded by veteran Chris Macasaet and backed by a harvest of talented rookies. With the right mindset and a good dose of healthy swagger reclaiming a seat in the Final Four will not be a distant target for the Green Spikers.

The Lady Spikers, on the other hand, are out for a vengeance. The UniGames turned out to be a disappointing straight sets sweep by their nemesis University of Sto. Tomas Lady Tigresses.

“Learn from your mistakes” is the mantra of last UAAP season’s bridesmaids. The good news was that during the UniGames, Coach Ramil de Jesus also got to chance to test possible rotation combinations and the perfect mix of veterans and rookies.

The Green-and-White volleybelles were also undermanned during their recent UniGames outing, which could have spelled the difference in the championship game.

This de ja vu of last year’s UniGames, a fourth place in the National Volleyball Open, a bridesmaids finish in the Beach Volley and the Intercollegiate Volleyball Championship crown proclaimed the Lady Spikers’ redemption plans.

Compared with last season, they now possess tougher blocking walls, better floor defense and tighter team bonds. It doesn’t end there; the mind games go on. Not only is it the stronger and faster player that prevails, but also the one who overcomes fear and maintains composure under pressure.

“So kung last year runner-up, wala naman nagpapractice para sa runner-up ganyan laging champion. ‘Yun naman laging target yun naman laging goal [No one practices to be a runner-up. Being champion is always the target and the goal], Coach de Jesus ended.

Charles Usi

By Charles Usi

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