DLSU's weapon against Ateneo: Clipboard and tablet
ABS-CBN Sports on May 01, 2016 11:03 PM
Statistician Benson Bocboc did his job well using a clip board full of scouting reports and statistics that made De La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus’ planning a lot easier.
ABS-CBN Sports tried to ask De La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus if it was a conscious effort on the Lady Spikers’ side to deny Ateneo de Manila’s top gunner Alyssa Valdez her cross court attacks during the 78th UAAP women’s volleyball Finals series opener.
“Nagkataon lang siguro,” he said.
An expected answer from a tactician trying to hide his cards.
Ara Galang, Kim Dy, Mika Reyes, Cyd Demecilo, libero Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron and Kim Fajardo showed their brilliance on court, but De Jesus owed everything to a person who patiently observes their opponents and effectively pinpoints what approach they need to do.
Statistician Benson Bocboc did his job well using a clip board full of scouting reports and statistics that made De Jesus’ planning a lot easier.
What DLSU did in Game One was a shocker as Valdez was limited to only 17 points and the Lady Spikers scoring a straight-set win.
The three-time Most Valuable Player Valdez and the Lady Eagles regrouped in Game 2 in a five-setter, showing the heart that won them two straight titles.
But that loss also gave DLSU a chance to tweak their strategy. Create a grand battle plan to achieve their goal of regaining their lost glory and take the championship trophy back to Taft Avenue.
Ateneo in Game 3 took the opening set with Valdez clicking on all cylinders.
Just the way DLSU think tanks wanted her to do.
The next three sets was a masterful display of well-planned strategy.
La Salle knew they will win.
Bocboc is DLSU’s Sun Tzu.
Before the opening game of the storied rivalry’s fifth straight Finals match, Bocboc could be seen standing on a platform near the left net post hitting balls.
“Alyssa cross. Alyssa cross. Alyssa cross. Off speed!” he shouted as Reyes and Dy try to move and jump as quickly as they can to defend on the other side of the court.
“Maraguinot down the line!” said Bocboc as he slammed the ball and on cue Macandili moved back to dig the ball.
Again he shouted, “Valdez cross!” and this time Macandili hustled to the other side to receive the diagonal attack.
Crunching numbers and analyzing play offensive and defensive patterns and knowing their opponents tendencies, strengths and weaknesses, Bocboc equipped the Lady Spikers with all the things they need to know and do to defeat Ateneo.
So much arsenal coming from a clipboard filled with numbers and bits of information.
“What we do for La Salle is similar to what other countries are doing, although we still do it manually because we don’t have the hardware and the equipment,” said Bocboc. “So we started manually, but the idea on how to assess the teams is basically the same or almost the same. I think other teams are also doing that; I don’t know, I’m not really sure because we only focus on our team and from there we make some real-time adjustments.”
Using science in battle
Aside from his trusty notes, patience in scouting and watchful eyes, Bocboc did his magic using the software “Click and Scout” of Data Project on his tablet where the tendencies of the setter, reception zones and attack and service receptions were properly identified.
This gave DLSU a good look on how to defeat the opposition.
Using the information Bocboc gathered, the Lady Spikers took advantage of Ateneo’s poor reception and floor defense at the back row by hitting long and heavy services in their first round meeting which resulted to 13 aces in a straight-set win that ended he Lady Eagles’ 24-game winning streak.
That win exposed Ateneo’s Achilles’ heel as the rookie-laden University of the Philippines copied DLSU’s trick to score an upset over the Lady Eagles to open the second round.
But Bocboc’s brightest strategic gem came in the Finals series.
Just like what they practiced, the combination of Reyes, Baron and Dy clogged the corner of the net and effectively neutralized Valdez’s cross court kills and Macandili kept her off speeds in check, forcing the Queen Eagle to hit down the line hits.
On offense the Lady Spikers attacked relentlessly. If Valdez is at the backline, she’s the target.
DLSU controlled the first two sets of Game 2 before collapsing.
In Game 3, Ateneo had the Lady Spikers pinned in the first set.
DLSU needed that to adjust.
Bocboc knew Ateneo’s tendencies.
It’s all written on his notes clamped on his clipboard.
Galang, Reyes, Demecillo, Fajardo, Baron, Macandili, Dy and the Lady Spikers did the rest.