UAAP: Green Spikers face defending champion ADMU sans Woo, seek third win

After claiming victory against the UE Red Warriors despite the absence of the recently injured Raymark Woo, the Green Spikers are set to take on UAAP Season 78’s champions, the ADMU Blue Eagles, tomorrow, March 4. With a win-loss record of 2-4, La Salle currently sits at sixth in the men’s volleyball standings.

The Blue Eagles, who just came off a straight-set victory against the UP Fighting Maroons, remain unbeaten as they sit at the top of the standings with 6-0 win-loss card.

Taking off from different grounds

This season has been difficult for DLSU, coupled with losing Woo due to an MCL strain that resulted from a bad landing in their match against the AdU Soaring Falcons.

They started the season with two losses against the FEU Tamaraws and the UST Growling Tigers. On their third game, however, the Lasallians made a comeback as they bagged a straight-set win against the UP Fighting Maroons, who lost their first match then. Another two defeats followed after playing against the previous season’s runners-up, the NU Bulldogs, and the AdU Soaring Falcons. Afterwards, they defeated the Red Warriors in four sets, 25-14, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21.

While scoring points has been mostly distributed between the attackers of La Salle throughout the round, Arjay, Onia, and Woo have always been top the scorers for the Green-and-White.


On the other hand, the Blue Eagles have had had a virtually flawless  first round, winning all matches in straight sets. They only a dropped a set on one occasion, against the NU Bulldogs.

Previous season’s MVP Marck Espejo has consistently stayed in the topscorers’ list in all of ADMU’s matches as he leads the team, together with teammates Anthony Paul Koyfman, Karl Irvin Baysa, and Rex Intal.

Past season encounters

The previous season’s meetings between the two teams have been one-sided with ADMU taking victory.

During the first match-up at the FilOil Arena, the Green Spikers fell short against the Blue Eagles in a five-set race, 25-20, 23-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-10. Espejo of the Blue Eagles led all scorers with 35 points, while then-team captain Woo led La Salle with 24 points.

In their second round, La Salle bowed to ADMU in three sets last April 3, 2016, 25-14, 25-20, 25-21. In this straight-set loss, the team dropped their standing to 4-8 and were removed from Final Four contention.

Against the tide

Due to his injury during their match against AdU, open hitter Raymark Woo is unable to return and play for La Salle. Despite his absence in the team, Woo shared that he firmly believes that his team will do their best. “Kung nandiyan o wala naman ako, nalaro naman talaga yung best nila,” Woo expressed on the Green Spikers’ win against UE. (Whether I was there or not, they played their best.)

Playing against the previous season’s champions definitely will not be a walk in the park for any team. For Woo, the team needs to keep their composure consistent. “Sana hindi lang mawawala yung focus ng bawat isa. Tsaka mag-enjoy lang sila,” he mentions. “Kaya naman nila eh.” (What’s important is they don’t lose focus, and just enjoy the game. They can do it.)

On top of that, the Green Spikers team captain Geuel Asia said, “Mindset namin is yung magtiwala sa isa’t-isa, connection at confidence sa sarili at sa paglalaro, tapos isipin lang dapat yung mga tinuturo ni coach sa bawat training.” (Our mindset is to trust in eac other, connection and confidence with ourselves, and to remember what coach teaches in training.)

One with the intention to close their first round with straight wins, the other with the hope of securing their third win with an upset victory. The two teams will face off tomorrow, March 4, at 10 am in the Mall of Asia Arena. 

Andrea Punzalan

By Andrea Punzalan

Tinsel Joaquin

By Tinsel Joaquin

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