PVL: We’re here for the experience -- Mamon
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 23, 2018 01:03 PM
GO USTE! GO USTE! Three newbies led by Genesis Redido (kneeling third from right) complete the University of Santo Tomas lineup for the ongoing PVL Collegiate Conference. Coach Odjie Mamon (standing sixth from right) has high hopes for his present team. (Photo by Stephanie Marie Baluyot)
Asked to assess the strength of the UST Growling Tigers competing in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference, coach Odjie Mamon had a swift reply: “We’re here for the experience.”
The many-time former national player means he wants exposure for his players before they enter the UAAP fray next year.
“Marami akong gagawing balasa, may gagawin akong mga eksperimento,” he said before the Growling Tigers tangled with the favored FEU Tamaraws in Saturday’s opening of the PVL collegiate war. “I will have middle blocker Tyrone (Carodan) and open spiker Jireh (Buro) switch positions, for instance.”
His strategy also included giving all the players time on the court particularly the three newcomers on the team composed of Genesis Redido, Ithan Escobar and Jelex Jay Mendiolla.
In fact, Mamon was set on starting Redido as a utility spiker along with veterans Jayvee Sumagaysay, Carodan, Joshua Umandal, Wewe Medina and setter Tim Tajanlangit with Lester Sawal as libero.
At least that part of the master plan was carried out.
But when the core players, who brought back the Growling Tigers to the Final Four last UAAP season, started to breathe fire after shaking off the first few minutes jitters and Redido blended seamlessly with them, their coach, save for making a few substitutions, stuck with the combination.
And the Espana-based crew roared to a straight-sets victory over the fancied Morayta spikers, with the 20-year-old Redido, a recruit from Lyceum, turning in the third best score of 10 points for the Tigers behind Sumagaysay’s 13 and Medina’s 11.
“I’m especially proud of Genesis,” remarked Mamon after the game. “I knew that he’d do well as a member of my first six. The boy has still a lot more to show.”
Sumagaysay, benefitting from changes in the UAAP eligibility rules, has always been a consistent performer unlike Medina who blew hot and cold in previous performances.
But a new Medina emerged that Saturday, according to Mamon, himself a key player of two of UST’s long string of UAAP championships. “Parang sinapian si Wewe. Mas sigurado sa palo at sa depensa.”
New UAAP ruling
Recent changes in the UAAP rules have allowed Sumagaysay and Carodan to play again in the UAAP next season.
Though with at least one playing year left in the nation’s most popular school league, Sumagaysay and Carodan’s UAAP stints ended abruptly under the previous seven-year rule from high school graduation and the maximum age at which one could still play in the league.
The UAAP board, in a landmark decision, has recently scrapped the seven-year period within which the high school graduate was allowed to play in the UAAP. It also raised the maximum age of a competitor in the league.