Promising collegiate stars banner Power Smashers
ABS-CBN Sports on May 05, 2017 07:54 PM
There’s power behind the comely appearance of this young lady from Arellano University (No. 4)
Appearing in their first-ever commercial league, Regine Arocha of NCAA champion Arellano University and Dimdim Pacres of UAAP Final Four finisher University of Santo Tomas delighted fans with their sterling performances in Sunday’s opening of the Premier Volleyball League at the San Juan Arena.
They repeatedly scored on spikes, dismantling the vaunted defensive wall of the much-favored Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors to steer coach Nes Pamilar’s Power Smashers to a rousing debut in the six-team PVL Reinforced Conference in the women’s division, which, in a joint undertaking with Asics as its official league partner, took over where the V-League had left off.
Arocha stole the thunder from teammate and NCAA MVP Jovelyn Prado also of Arellano, piling up 12 points against Prado’s 11. Pacres also scored in double figures with 10.
Pamilar beamed with pride for his rookies, notably Arocha and Pacres.
“I always tell my girls during training to make the most of their exposure in a league as big as PVL, to make themselves shine so they will get noticed by bigger ball clubs which may consider them for future recruitments. To do that, I tell them they have to work extra hard, that there is no substitute for hard work and focus.”
Though Arocha’s spikes lack the force that Pacres infuses her attacks with, they are nonetheless accurate and effective even if she’s only five feet and five inches tall, still short by volleyball standards. She leaps high enough to more than make up for her lack of height.
“Proper training and more exposure,” said Pamilar, “will give her the power in her spikes. She will get there sooner than we expect given that the girl is very serious during training.”
Discovered by Arellano from Angono, Rizal, Arocha, 20, unnoticed in the eliminations of the last NCAA, made waves as the Lady Chiefs advanced from the stepladder finals to eventually beat thrice-to-beat top seed San Sebastian for the championship.
She was surprised to have made Pamilar’s first team in the PVL along with five-foot-10 Pacres, a discovery from Mandaue City. She thanked Sports Vision, the PVL organizer, for allowing young players like her who have still not shown much in the sport to play in a very prestigious commercial league.
“Mas lalo po akong ganadong maglaro sa PVL dahil napapanood ako sa TV ng aking pamilya, mga kapitbahay at kaklase. Mas nai-inspire akong galingan ko pa ang paglalaro.”
To make an impact in the PVL backed by Mikasa as its official game ball, the Power Smashers are relying heavily on the tough guns of Arellano and San Sebastian.
From NCAA titlist Arellano came beside Arocha and Prado, Eunice Galang and Andrea Marzan. Three San Sebastian Lady Stags – Katherine Villegas, Joyce Sta. Rita and setter Vira May Guillema – are providing more teeth to the Power Smashers’ PVL campaign. So are Pacres and fellow UST Tigress Alina Bicar.
Pamilar, who gave the Far Eastern U Lady Tamaraws their last crown in the UAAP, considers it an advantage for his team to have recruited from the ranks of the last UAAP and NCAA wars.
“The girls I have still carry with them the very high physical conditioning they had acquired from preparing and playing in their mother leagues. Kumbaga sa makina ng sasakyan, kondisyon na kondisyon pa sila.”
As if to prove their mentor’s point as well as show that their first-game prolific performances were no fluke, Prado, Arocha and Pacrez each struck for 11 points in their valiant, if losing, stand against Balipure in their second outing. Villegas chipped in 10.