‘Gusto namin magtuloy-tuloy na’: CSB Blazers aim to top last season’s silver finish
Ceej Tantengco on Dec 09, 2015 02:08 PM
“Umabot na kami doon, Dapat hindi lang namin pantayan kundi lampasan pa.”
After making the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Tournament finals for the first time in seven years last season, the CSB Blazers are hungrier than ever for the championship.
“’Yun ang pinanghahawakan ng team namin,” says head coach Arnold Laniog. “Umabot na kami doon, Dapat hindi lang namin pantayan kundi lampasan pa.”
The Blazers have their work cut out for them, with four of last season’s starters no longer part of the roster. Despite this, Laniog has confidence in his team. “Kahit kalahati ng line-up namin mga rookies, malalakas sila individually,” he says.
In the Blazers’ recent win against the LPU Pirates, even substitute players who entered the court for less than five minutes would leave it dripping with sweat and with a grin on their face. The hunger is there. The challenge will be molding raw talent to create consistently devastating weapons.
Laniog has been with CSB for fifteen years—five as an athlete, ten as a coach—and in his system, discipline comes first.
“Siguro masasabi mong parang kuya [yung relationship ko sa team]. Pagdating sa training, push ako nang push. Paulit-ulit kami hanggang magawa nang tama,” admits the self-confessed “aggressive” coach. “Pagdating sa game, hinahayaan ko sila. Kaya na dapat nila sa sarili nila.”
Another factor is mental preparation. “Last season, marami ring nawala kaya hindi naming ine-expect [umabot sa finals],” admits Laniog. With a depleted lineup, the Blazers relied on that intangible variable to carry them through crucial games.
This year, the Blazers look to strengthen both fronts and lock down the title that was just out of their grasp last season.
“Gusto namin magtuloy-tuloy na,” says Laniog. “Gusto namin mag-champion.”