UP guarantees Final Four: ‘Ngayon na yung panahon namin’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 13, 2016 01:34 PM
UP guarantees Final Four: ‘Ngayon na yung panahon namin’
WELCOME BACK? Is this the year UP finally gets back to the Final Four? Their coach and captain believe so.

In Season 73 of the UAAP Men’s Volleyball Tournament, the University of the Philippines turned in a spirited fight before winding up as third-placers.

They haven’t been back in the Final Four since.

Five years later, team captain Alfred Valbuena is nothing but confident that the Fighting Maroons will finally change all that. Asked if this is the yearthey return to the playoffs, he quickly and surely said, “Yes!”

Why wouldn’t he feel that way after he and his teammates scored the biggest upset thus far in the season, sweeping reigning runners-up National University. Coach Rod Palmero also felt as much in saying, “Matagal ko nang alam na kayang lumaro nang mas maganda yung team.”

He then continued, “Nakikita ko sa kanila na ngayon na yung panahon namin.”

Palmero singled out one player who will be instrumental in their playoff push. “Si Wendel (Miguel) ang natutulog kong player. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Yung pagkakataong binibigay sa kanya, kelangang samantalahin niya,’” he said.

Against the Bulldogs, Miguel did nothing but show up big time, scoring 19 points to show the way to a stunning sweep.

Proving he is truly up for the task, he said, “Nagigising na talaga kami kasi bawat isa, nagko-contribute.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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