Green Spikers in high spirits after shocking Bulldogs

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 16, 2017 02:50 PM
Green Spikers in high spirits after shocking Bulldogs
Moving up from assistant to head coach of the De La Salle Green Spikers, coach Norman Miguel (sixth from right, back row) said he has an almost intact lineup going for experience in the Premier Volleyball League College Conference in preparation for the upcoming UAAP volleyball season which starts January next year.

Needing to bounce back from two consecutive defeats, the Green Spikers did it in grand style.

They slew one of the two title favorites, the much taller National University Bulldogs, in a heart-stopping marathon match for only their second victory in four outings in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference, a trailblazing event organized by Sports Vision with Asics as its official league partner and Mikasa providing the official game ball.

They ripped what otherwise was a tight contest wide open in the deciding set, winning 31-29, 25-23, 20-25, 19-25, 15-6 behind the combined 64-point production of Arjay Onia (21), Raymark Woo (15), Cris Dumago (15), and Joshua Jose (13).

New coach Norman Miguel, who inherited the position from his mentor, Nes Pamilar, could not have asked for more from his men, particularly from Woo.

He viewed their taming of the Bulldogs, back-to-back UAAP champions before the now triple titlists Ateneo Blue Eagles dislodged them, as indicative of the Green Spikers’ finally jelling under his reins as well as of Woo’s full recovery from an MCL operation.

Woo, who had had an ACL surgery before getting injured again midway in last season’s UAAP, piled up 16 points in La Salle’s opening four-set win over College of St. Benilde, managed only six in a straight-sets setback to University of Santo Tomas, and 12 when the Far Eastern U Tamaraws dealt the Green Spikers their second straight loss, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 25-18.

“With Woo fully on the mend, we will be in a good position when the next UAAP volleyball season comes around,” said Miguel. “I can only hope that Onia and Dumago will maintain their consistency and Joshua (Jose) to continue to level up.”

Jose, a middle attacker, is a grandson of boxing legend Flash Elorde.

The Green Spikers are in a strong position as well to clinch one of the four semifinal births in the season-ending tournament of the PVL. They are presently locked in third place in the eight-team standings with the Growling Tigers at 2-2 behind the unbeaten Blue Eagles (4-0) and the Tamaraws (3-1).

Norman said he’s continuing practically the same volleyball program begun by Pamilar on the Green Spikers, one anchored on quick plays. “Fast plays are now the norm in world volleyball, coach Nes used to tell us. Then and now I have always believed in my mentor’s system.”

The De La Salle lineup: Rafael Macaspac, Geraint Bacon, Raymark Woo, Randy Hendriyanto, John delos Reyes, Jopet Movido, Cris Dumago, Arjay Onia, Wayne Marco, Joshua Jose, Reuel Asia, Keiffer Reyes, Zim Maravilla, and Levin Dimayuga.

Norman Miguel, head coach; Christian Antiporda, assistant coach.

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