CSB Lady Blazers up to the challenge
Mark Escarlote on Sep 01, 2017 02:21 PM
Ang bracket namin competitive talaga parang hindi mo alam kung sino ang papasok. Pero ang importante kasi sa akin ‘yung mga natututunan namin every game -- CSB Lady Blazers coach Macky Carino
College of St. Benilde embraces the challenge of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference.
Bracketed in Group B where they will take on NCAA champion Arellano University, a vastly improved San Beda College side, an upset-conscious Technological Institute of the Philippines and UAAP powerhouse teams University of the Philippines and Adamson University, head coach Macky Carino is looking forward to the lessons they will learn in the tournament.
“Ang bracket namin competitive talaga parang hindi mo alam kung sino ang papasok,” said Carino. “Pero ang importante kasi sa akin ‘yung mga natututunan namin every game, para mabibitbit namin sa mga susunod na games namin.”
Carino has high hopes that his team will get a chance to advance in the Final Four or even compete for the crown as they build momentum heading into their main goal of reclaiming the NCAA throne they lost last year.
“Kapag dumating na sa punto na naka-gain na ng momentum at nananalo ang team that’s the time na masasabi natin na pagdating ng semifinals ibang-iba na ‘yun,” he added.
The Lady Blazers lost a veteran scorer in Jeanette Panaga from last NCAA season, but will parade three key recruits in former National University players opposite hitter Klarissa Abriam, open hitter Marites Pablo, sister of Pocari Sweat franchise player Myla Pablo, and former Ateneo de Manila prospect and head-turner libero Felicia Cui.
Ex-University of the Philippines setter Jewel Lai is still under residency and will be excluded in the PVL lineup.
“Alam na nila ang sistema ko, nakapag-adjust na sila. Ngayon na lang ang gagawin ko ay mabigyan sila ng experience dun sa actual game talaga,” Carino said of his new players. “Magandang pre-season ito para sa amin and right after this we are planning to have a training camp na, tuneup games and siyempre NCAA games.”
Key returnees for the Taft-based squad are senior player middle blocker Ranya Musa, opposite hitter Rachel Austero and libero Melanie Torres.
“Sina Ranya at Rachel and mga veteran players ko na inaasahan kong magli-lead sa team,” said Carino.
CSB takes on Arellano U on Saturday in a preview of a possible NCAA championship match at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
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