UAAP Season 82: Jolina Dela Cruz embraces bigger role as open spiker

Mark Escarlote on Feb 11, 2020 05:53 PM
Dela Cruz embraces bigger role as open spiker
From opposite to open spiker siyempre sobrang laking adjustment nu’n kasi parang dito sa opposite sobrang sanay na ako and dito ako nag-peak eh -- Jolina dela Cruz

Jolina dela Cruz is ready for a new challenge this UAAP Season 82.

Not only will the sophomore try to bring the Lady Spikers back to the throne after their three-year dynasty collapsed last year but Dela Cruz will have to play an unfamiliar role.  

The Lady Spiker for this season will switch from opposite to open spiker – filling the void left by Des Cheng after exhausting all her playing years last season.       

“From opposite to open spiker siyempre sobrang laking adjustment nu’n kasi parang dito sa opposite sobrang sanay na ako and dito ako nag-peak eh,” said Dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz averaged 11.5 points per game as DLSU’s scoring leader in her debut. She was 11th in scoring, had a 27.78% success rate in attacks and averaged 0.45 aces per set.    

With good numbers based on her performance last year as an opposite, Dela Cruz admits that sliding to open poses a lot of adjustment on her part and expectations will be higher.    

“So yun parang it’s a bigger role po yung ibinigay sa akin ni Coach Ramil,” said Dela Cruz. “Wino-work ko pa po kasi ang dami ko pang kulang sa sarili so nagpo-focus pa po ako kung paano ang mga technique kung paano pumalo sa open.”

Taking her utility spot is rookie Leila Cruz.    

And just like Dela Cruz, the 6-foot Cruz is still trying to learn the ropes of her spot.  

“May mga times din siya na nahihirapan pero yun nga po sabi Coach Ramil, ‘tiyaga lang.’ Makukuha din nya siguro yun,” said Dela Cruz of the De La Salle Zobel product.

Parading a taller unit especially with the arrival of 6-foot-2 rookie Thea Gagate, the very hungry DLSU squad according to Dela Cruz has something to prove this season.

“Siguro mas tumaas ang kompiyansa namin ngayon kasi may gusto kaming patunayan eh,” she said. “’Yung sa nangyari last year, ‘yun ang naging motivation namin para mas umangat pa po ang team namin and mas lalo pang sumunod sa sistema ni coach.”

Dela Cruz vows that the Lady Spikers will go out firing on all cylinders come game time.

“Babalik ang character na kilala nilang La Salle. Expect na lang talaga nila na babalik po talaga kami,” said Dela Cruz.

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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