UAAP: DLSU Green Spikers off to a fresh start

With the basketball season coming to a close, UAAP Volleyball will now take the floor. A new season will allow teams to build on their progress or regroup. Season 79 will be a new opportunity for the DLSU Green Spikers as it has been four seasons since the team has reached the Final Four. They have consistently been in in the lower half of the league, settling for sixth place in the last two seasons. They, however, expect to surprise everyone and turn things around in the upcoming season with new head coach Nes Pamiliar taking the reigns.

A flash from the past

The Green Spikers concluded Season 78 in sixth place with a 5-9 win-loss record, ahead of the UE Red Warriors and UST Growling Tigers. They finished the first round with a lone win against the Red Warriors, 25-18, 28-26, 26-24, in their season opening match.

It was only in the second round that they managed to find their footing, immediately securing their matches against the UP Fighting Maroons, the FEU Tamaraws, and the UST Growling Tigers. However, the AdU Soaring Falcons put an end to DLSU’s win streak after outlasting the Lasallians in a full set match, 25-17, 21-25, 25-19, 20-25, 13-15. After that, two more matches were taken from them by the ADMU Blue Eagles and the NU Bulldogs. Refusing to cap the season on a low note, La Salle routed UE in straight sets, 25-16, 25-15, 25-18.

Despite not getting into the Final Four, then Green Spikers team captain Raymark Woo was named Best Scorer of the tournament.

Men's Volleyball - Athena

Changes in the roster

It is not a rare sight to see players come and go each season. One of their senior members, middle blocker Ralph Calasin, has already graduated. “Mabigat sa loob na mawawalan kami ng player,” Woo said after their final match in the previous season.

As for this year, joining the team is Raffy Macaspac, who will take Reuel Asia’s former position as the second libero. Meanwhile, R. Asia will be designated as the Green Spikers’ service specialist. This season will also be the last for the DLSU team setter and current captain Geuel Asia and opposite hitter Mike Frey.

Major adjustments

Pamilar will make his comeback to the UAAP Men’s Volleyball scene this upcoming season with La Salle. While teams often struggle to adapt to a new coach’s system, Pamilar mentions that even with the abrupt change in the system, the players’ reception to this has been positive.

Pamilar’s goal during preparation was simple—that his players be versatile. He explains, “Yung iba, iba-iba yung mga position pero lahat ngayon gusto ko kasi mangyari, lahat nagagawa nila.” Adjustments to receiving and blocking were made as well as on the attack. “Marami kaming binago sa attack,” he mentions.

Improvements were evident when they joined two preseason tournaments, Spikers’ Turf and the UniGames, where they advanced to the semifinals and quarterfinals, respectively. Slowly but surely, the Green Spikers were able to adapt to Pamilar’s system.

Starting strong

The Green Spikers will kick off Season 79 with a match against the FEU Tamaraws, who they tied their elimination round match-up at 1-1 in 2016. FEU was able to get the upperhand during their first meeting in the previous season. DLSU retaliated in their second round matchup, defeating their opponents in four sets, 26-24, 19-25, 25-23, 25-21. Raymark Woo recorded 22 points off 18 attacks and three aces in their second game.

The Green Spikers hope to get a good start to their season with a new system and a new coach. Salle is set to get back on the court on February 5, Sunday, at 10 am at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Patrick Quintero

By Patrick Quintero

Tinsel Joaquin

By Tinsel Joaquin

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