UAAP: Green Spikers demolish Soaring Falcons in three sets, slide up to third seed

The DLSU Green Spikers—who now stand at a 7-5 win-loss record in the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Volleyball tournament—secured third seed after winning against the AdU Soaring Falcons in three sets, 25-17, 25-14, 25-12, yesterday, April 20, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

In the blitzing victory, JM Ronquillo and Noel Kampton both posted double-digit scoring performances with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Dispatching them was Player of the Game awardee Angel Serrano, who hoisted up 15 excellent sets, while also scoring three points from two service aces and a block.

In what was a tough game for the team from Ermita, Joshua Magalama and Evander Novillo topped the scoring for their team with seven points each. 

Burning it up

DLSU came out of the gates swinging, with Ronquillo and Vince Maglinao capitalizing on the shaky play of AdU to get ahead quickly, 8-4, before the first technical timeout of the game. La Salle continued the game at a steady pace, with Kampton doing damage above the net and from behind the service line before Nat Del Pilar’s kill block sent the Green and White into the second technical timeout of the set with a comfortable 16-9 lead.

Adamson went blow for blow with La Salle, bringing the scoreline to 18-12 before aiming to further regroup in their first timeout of the game. In an attempt to cut the deficit, AdU went on a 3-0 run, but Maglinao managed to overcome AdU libero Lorences Canlas to ice their momentum, 19-15. Kampton picked up after his captain with a scorching hit to push the lead to five points, 20-15. The Soaring Falcons failed to keep up the pace, as a Serrano ace followed by a Del Pilar hit saw the end of the first set reach a strong conclusion for the Green Spikers, 25-17.

No breaks

Neither side managed to jump ahead in the opening exchanges of the second set. After a Billie Anima block, an AdU error leveled the scoreline, 3-all. It was at this point that La Salle jumped to a 3-0 run before Anima’s double contact violation killed their momentum, 6-4. The veteran middle was unfazed, however, coming back with two straight points to send DLSU to the first technical timeout of the second set up with four, 8-4.

The play was more or less the same with DLSU, as ace hitter Kampton sent his team to the second technical timeout of the second set with a comfortable lead, 16-9. Exiting the break, DLSU was unable to further stretch their lead due to error-riddled play. With the damage already done in the frame, captain Maglinao put an end to a long rally, 22-13, sparking a 3-0 run. After AdU’s Novillo tried to spark some life back into his team with a belting hit for a point, Kampton hammered the ball into Zone 3 to take DLSU’s second set of the match, 25-14.

Sights on the third seed

DLSU continued to run away with the game, immediately going up by three to start what eventually became the final set. AdU poured in errors before Anima sent the third set into its first technical timeout with a slider, 8-3. However, La Salle started to have their own fair share of carelessness, with three consecutive errors allowing their lead to slip, 9-6. Anima stepped up for the Green and White, readjusting his side’s grip on the set with a down-the-middle attack, 10-6.

This sparked a 4-0 run before Magalman finally ended the mini drought for the Soaring Falcons. After a DLSU block and a Francis Casas error, Kampton slipped his ball between the pair of AdU blockers to see La Salle go into the second technical timeout of the third set, 16-7. With the lead approaching double-digits, it was the off-the-bench presence of Jules De Jesus that pushed the Taft-based hitters to the finish line. After a blistering ace by Maglinao, 24-12, Von Marata overpowered the opposing libero Jhon Takeda to take the decisive set, 25-12.

On his team moving up to the third seed, DLSU Head Coach Arnold Laniog expresses, “Nakita ko na may chance [na kukunin namin ‘yung third seed]. ‘Yung [kalaban sa] remaining games namin, is ‘yung tinalo naming nung first round.” After this improvement on the tournament standings, Laniog does not want his side to grow complacent, sharing, “Pero sabi ko sa players, hindi naman ibig sabihin na tinalo natin, ganung na lang kadali na mananalo tayo ng sigurado. Pero siyempre, sinasabi ko sa kanila, tiwala pa rin ako na lamang pa rin tayo.” 

(I saw we had a chance to take the third seed. Our opponents in our remaining games were teams we had already beaten in the first round.)

(I told the players, just because we beat them once doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy and that we’re going to beat them for sure. But of course, I tell them that I believe we’re going to win.)

The La Salle mentor also wants his time to grow more as a unit going into the tournament’s knockout rounds, “Challenge ko sa kanila mapatibay namin ang chemistry namin going into the Final Four.”

(My challenge for my team is to improve our chemistry…)

As the season comes to its waning stage, Laniog wants his team to live in the moment, discussing the mindset he tries to instill in his players, “One game at a time, game namin [versus] Ateneo, crucial samin ng Sunday. One game at a time. Kung nandun naman sa game, one point at a time.”

(Our game against Ateneo this Sunday is crucial. When we are at the game, we take it one point at a time.)

After this win, the Green Spikers will look to spoil the 6-6 ADMU Blue Eagles’ Final Four hopes as they meet for their Round Two battle on Sunday, April 22, at the same venue.

The Scores:

DLSU 3 – Ronquillo 14, Kampton 11, Maglinao 7, Rodriguez 7, Anima 6, Del Pilar 5, Serrano 3, De Jesus 2, Marata 1

AdU 0 – Magalman 7, Novillo 7, Aguilar 5, Coguimbal 3, Casas 2, Paulino 1, Gay 1

Set Scores: 25-17, 25-14, 25-12

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

Leave a Reply