The DLSU Green Spikers surpassed the AdU Soaring Falcons in three sets, 25-21, 25-18, 25-20 marking their fourth win in the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Volleyball tournament earlier today, March 19, at the FilOil EcoOil Stadium.
Noel Kampton proved to be a driving force for La Salle, contributing 15 points with 14 attacks and a block. JM Roquillo also managed to pitch in 12 attacks and two blocks, while middle blocker Billie Anima converted 11 points.
For Adamson, it was Francis Casas calling the shots with eight attacks, three blocks, and a service ace. Team Captain Jude Aguilar chipped in 10 points from seven attacks and two aces.
Adamson was first to draw blood with an offensive block after a short rally in the first set, 1-0. After some time, the Green Spikers were able to convert attacks with Kampton’s off-the-block point that followed Ronquillo’s cross-court attack, 10-6. Despite trailing the whole set, the Soaring Falcons managed to keep DLSU from taking the gap any further.
A mix of Adamson’s offense and defense challenged the team from Taft with a 3-0 run in the latter part of the first set. A long rally transpired, but Kampton’s power tip took it down, 21-16. After an Adamson timeout, the Green Spikers still held onto their momentum, scoring consecutively with an off-the-block point by Kampton. AdU carried on to fight to tally another point with a solid block, but Vince Maglinao secured the set for DLSU with an attack, 25-21.
Down but not out
Both sides exchanged points in quick succession to open the second frame, 4-all. It was Soaring Falcon Nathaniel Del Pilar’s consecutive service aces that managed to create some separation for his side, 6-4. The Green and White managed to tie up the set again at 6-all. However, the team from Ermita managed to pull away after Maglinao failed to get through AdU’s double block. This saw DLSU go into the first technical timeout of the second set down, 8-6.
The set remained neck-and-neck following the break. After an exchange of errors saw the AdU lead slowly balloon, 14-11, DLSU tactician Arnold Laniog decided to call for a timeout. A well-read block by DLSU skipper Maglinao sparked a surge from his side afterward, seeing them go into the second technical timeout down by just one, 16-15. Exiting the break, Maglinao finished what he started with a powerful hit off the fingertips of the AdU block to tie up the score, 16-all. AdU lost composure, allowing the Green and White to grab momentum. A powerful return by Ronquillo on a mishandled ball capped off La Salle’s 9-2 run to take the set, 25-18
The Green Spikers were eager on banking another win to end the first round. A solid block from Ronquillo put DLSU up, 3-1. After a short exchange of plays, Anima ended the rally with a surprise attack. Throughout the set, DLSU managed to keep their footing despite a communication error. On the other side, Adamson persevered with both their offense and defense to challenge DLSU. Von Marata answered with a down-the-line attack to boost La Salle, 17-14.
Making his UAAP debut in volleyball, Ben Phillips immediately made his presence felt by scoring from an off-the-block. To finish the match, team captain Maglinao sealed the win with an emphatic cross-court attack, 25-20.
Despite being matched up against a winless opponent, Kampton shared that they did not cut any corners in their preparation. The ace spiker said, “Nag-prepare talaga kami, one week kaming walang laro. Sabi talaga namin pag mag-relax kami, tatalunin kami ng Adamson.”
(We really prepared since we had a week with no games. We said that if we relaxed, Adamson would beat us.)
Crowd favorite Phillips shared his experience making his debut for the season, “Sobrang excited ako and sobrang nervous. Hindi ko alam [na papasok ako] sa court. Sabi lang ni coach ‘Pasok na.’ I was just really excited because I’ve been working really hard with the team.”
(I was so excited and nervous. I didn’t know that I was going on the court. Coach just said “Come in.”)
The rookie middle blocker furthers, “I’m really thankful that they took me into their family. The coaching staff has been really helpful with my training.”
The DLSU Green Spikers will aim to end their first round on a high note when they face the NU Bulldogs at 4 pm on March 22, Wednesday, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
DLSU 3 – Kampton 15, Ronquillo 14, Anima 11, Maglinao 9, Del Pilar 4, Marata 2, Phillips 1, Guerrero 0, Poquito 0
AdU 0 – Casas 12, Aguilar 10, Paulino 3, Gay, 3, Magalaman 3, Pacquing 2, Coguimbal 2, Gutierrez 1
Set Scores: 25-21, 25-18, 25-20