Ex-Red Warriors reunited as Wrecking Balls
ABS-CBN Sports on May 22, 2017 08:48 PM
Former UE Red Warriors (from left) Edward Camposano, Carlo Almario (partly hidden) and Ace Mandani are reunited as key players of the Sta. Elena Construction Wrecking Balls. (Photo by Azcharey Cabrera)
You’d think they had already won the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference men’s championship that May 2 afternoon the way Wrecking Balls Ace Mandani, Edward Camposano and Carlo Almario celebrated Sta. Elena’s opening match victory over the Cafe Lupe Sunrisers.
Libero Almario jumped in exultant joy while Mandani and Camposano rushed into each others’ arms in a tight hug in extreme jubilation the moment the Wrecking Balls sewed up a pulsating five-set conquest of the Sunrisers, 21-25, 20-25, 25-14, 25-18, 15-12.
Another case of over-the-top match win celebration?
You’d not entertain such thought if you knew the trio’s volleyball history together.
They were once teammates on the University of the East squad that in the last many years has always brought up the rear in the UAAP. In the only time they played together for the Red Warriors during Camposano’s rookie year UE finished winless in 14 matches.
Mandani and Almario had the opportunity to play longer for UE. They had four seasons between them in the UAAP during which, according to Mandani, their team only won two of their 56 elimination matches.
“Sobrang tuwang-tuwa lang po kaming tatlo na sa wakas ay nakatikim din kami ng panalo bilang teammates ulit at sa isang malaking liga pa,” said Camposano, a discovery from Velasquez, Tondo, explaining their emotional celebration of Sta. Elena’s win over Cafe Lupe.
“Nagsama kami at naghiwalay sa UE na may 0-14 record. Isang malaking bokya. Nakagagaan ng loob na kaya rin pala naming manalo na magkakasama sa isang team.”
Mandani, 23 and an HRM graduate, keyed that victory with 14 attacks in a 16-point output while Camposano sizzled with 14 markers.
“I will always treasure this uplifting moment of victory with my former UE teammates in a very big tournament,” Mandani said, referring to the PVL, another ambitious undertaking of Sports Vision with Asics at its official league partner and Mikasa as its official game ball.
He also hinted that the ongoing PVL Reinforced Conference could be his last appearance in commercial volleyball as he is set to join a cruise ship in June.