UAAP Season 81: Lessons learned and silver linings

ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 26, 2019 02:38 PM
UAAP Season 81: Lessons learned and silver linings
Despite all of the struggles, agony of defeat, heartaches, a few regrets and missing the Final Four cut, here are some of the reasons Adamson University, University of the East, National University and University of the Philippines can still hold their heads up high in UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament.

This season may not be kind to the bottom four teams as they bid goodbye to their campaign this coming weekend but these squads learned a lot of valuable lessons that they could bring to Season 82.

Despite all of the struggles, agony of defeat, heartaches, a few regrets and missing the Final Four cut, here are some of the reasons Adamson University, University of the East, National University and University of the Philippines can still hold their heads up high in UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament.

 

UE records most wins in recent years

Okay, three may not be a healthy number in terms of winning. But to the UE Lady Warriors, this already means a lot to a program that hasn’t been to the Final Four since 2007.

The revitalization of the program can be attributed to their new head coach, Karl Dimacungalan, a former UAAP standout who happens to be the brother of erstwhile University of Sto. Tomas prized setter Rhea.

He steadily raised his wards’ game, which is most evident in the more consistent play of spiker Judith Abil and emergence of young players like Mean Mendrez, Zilfa Olarve, and Lai Bendong, who is making a case for Best Setter in the tournament.

And hey, the Lady Warriors can still add another win on Sunday against Ateneo de Manila University.

 

New breed of NU Lady Bulldogs

Coming into the season, the Lady Bulldogs weren’t even talking themselves to the Final Four. They’re still kids, enjoying their first taste of major college competition. But these young ladies of new coach Norman Miguel had grown lady moxie with them.

They didn’t lie down and roll in their games and straight up fought tooth and nail thanks to their impressive rookie class bannered by Princess Robles, Jennifer Nierva, Gel Luceno, and Ivy Lacsina.

As proof, they outlasted a loaded UP Lady Maroons not only once but twice!

NU even dealt UP the killing blow in its semis bid in a five-set victory just before the Holy Week break.

The Lady Bulldogs is looking to score another upset and possibly a fifth win before they close the season on Saturday against University of Sto. Tomas.  

 

Coaching solution for Adamson

Hopes were high in San Marcelino despite the departure of star Jema Galanza with the program of coach Air Padda slowly gaining ground. However a flat start to the season warranted a coaching change to Rogelio "Onyok" Getigan.

In their first outing under Getigan, the Lady Falcons swept the young Lady Bulldogs, 25-15, 25-19, 25-22 in their first game with new coach.

The best is yet to come for the Lady Falcons even if they are going to lose Eli Soyud and Joy Dacoron to graduation for Season 82.

They will still retain the services of Chiara Permentilla, Bernadeth Flora, libero Thang Ponce, and rookie Krich Macaslang to form a good core going forward.

Adamson will close its campaign on Saturday against UP.

 

Nowhere to go but up

With two offseason championships, the Lady Maroons were favorites to win it all.

However, the pressure to achieve seemed to get the better of coach Godfrey Okumu’s squad which also suffered a blow when star hitter Isa Molde was injured.

UP should not wallow in despair as their deadly trio of Molde, Tots Carlos, and Justine Dorog still have a playing year left to erase the memories of their ill-fated Season 81 campaign.

The young guns in Rosie Rozier and Jesma Ramos will also be given bigger roles as veterans Ayel Estrañero and Marian Buitre exit after the season. 

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