Altas relish good outing despite unfinished season
Mark Escarlote on Mar 20, 2020 05:05 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim)
Although University of Perpetual Help’s three-peat bid in men’s volleyball ended prematurely following the termination of NCAA Season 95, head coach Sammy Acaylar still praised his wards for a job well done.
The NCAA Policy Board announced its decision to end the season amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Thursday. No champion was declared for Season 95 on all affected second semester sporting events including centerpiece volleyball, which was already wrapping up the elimination round prior to the cancellation.
“Happy naman ako na kami pa rin ‘yung defending champion,” said Acaylar, whose Altas remained as back-to-back champions.
The Las Pinas-based squad, who coming into the season parted ways with two-time Most Valuable Player and top hitter Jobert Almodiel, was unbeaten in the elims and already secured an outright Finals berth. Overall, Perpetual won 22 straight games starting from the last two games of its Season 93 championship series against Arellano University.
“Super proud ako sa team ko at lalo sa Perpetual school, lalo kay chairman Tony Tamayo at president Anthony Tamayo na walang sawang support na binigay nya sa amin,” Acaylar said. “Siyempre sa Perps community at kay Lord.”
The multi-titled mentor admitted that although they understood that the termination of the season was for the safety and welfare of student-athletes, officials and fans, they couldn’t help but feel saddened with the development.
“Actually, wala kaming magawa dahil sa coronavirus. We are after safety ng lahat. Pero ang morale ng players ko sobrang disappointed lalo ako kasi siyempre pinaghandaan namin at wala pa kaming talo,” he explained.
“I respect their decision naman,” Acaylar added. “Ang mga players nagsi-uwian, after nalaman nila sobrang nanghihinayang sa pagod nila at sobrang paghahanda.”
With the season done, Acaylar now turns his attention on their second attempt for a three-peat next year.
Back to lead the Altas next year is power-hitter Louie Ramirez. New recruits are also expected to make their marks next year while seniors Ronniel Rosales and libero Jeric Atentar can opt to extend their stay if the NCAA pushes through with its plan to allow graduating players who have not completed Season 95 to see action for another year if they meet the eligibility requirements.
“Qualified pa rin sila,” said Acaylar of the two veterans. “Pero siyempre tatanungin ko sila kasi may pangarap sila para sa family nila.”
“Kasi may kumuha sa kanila na military team. Kung ako ang masusunod gusto ko [stay] para solid ,” he added. “Pero I respect their decision naman. Maglaro sila o hindi, still preparado ung team ko , lalong malakas kami this Season 96.”
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