UAAP Season 82: First to impress in men’s volleyball
Mark Escarlote on Mar 16, 2020 01:50 PM
These players left a good impression in their first couple of outings in the UAAP Season 82 men's volleyball tournament. (Photo: Arvin Lim)
Fans got a chance to witness UAAP Season 82 men’s volleyball action early this month after a long delay following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
It was just unfortunate that the tournament needed to be put on halt in light of the latest development regarding the spread of the virus and the government's decision to put the National Capital Region under community quarantine.
But in a single week fans got a taste of the league’s centerpiece second semester sporting event. It was short, honestly, but it did satisfy [sort of] the fans’ craving for UAAP volleyball.
Let’s look back at some of the men's division players who made an impact in their first few outings.
Playing for a team composed of second-year players and rookies, University of the East sophomore Lloyd Josafat displayed maturity and leadership early in the Red Warriors’ campaign.
Josafat set the scoring standard this season after firing 32 points to help UE silence University of the Philippines in four sets before the season was put to a halt.
He unleashed 28 attack points off 53 attempts and added three kills blocks and an ace to put the Red Warriors in the win column after opening the season with a loss.
Josafat had 10 markers in UE’s straight sets defeat to Far Eastern University.
The graduating veteran played the hero’s role to help preserve Far Eastern University’s pristine record as last year’s runner-up tries to complete unfinished business this season.
Garcia exploded for 27 points in a five-set escape act over University of Sto. Tomas for the Tamaraws’ second win in as many games and a share of the top spot with defending champion National University.
Garcia, who scored crucial hits in the fifth set, had a crisp attacking clip as he nailed 21 attacks off 39 attempts. He also added three kill blocks and three aces for a well-rounded offensive outing.
Garcia took a backseat in the opener, scoring nine points in the Tams’ sweep of UE in a game that FEU dominated with its balance scoring.
LOUIS GASPAR GAMBAN
This rookie made a name for himself not only as a dangerous scorer for University of the Philippines but also as an entertainer and energizer inside the court.
Gamban backed his court sass and swag with an amazing performance both on offense and defense, making him one of the rookies to watch this season.
The University of Perpetual Help recruit made an unforgettable introduction when he powered the Fighting Maroons to a shocking, straight sets upset win over Ateneo de Manila University to open the season.
Gamban scored 10 points to back another impressive freshman in John Lomibao, who had 11 markers, and laced his debut stats with six excellent receptions as UP snapped a 12-game head-to-head losing streak to the Blue Eagles.
Gamban posted 11 points, 14 excellent receptions and 10 digs in the Fighting Maroons’ four-set defeat at the hands of UE.
A stint with the national team did wonders for Umandal.
The converted wing spiker showcased his scoring prowess after averaging 23 points per game for UST.
Although the Golden Spikers have yet to win a game this season after two empty trips, Umandal gave UST faithful a ray of hope with his consistency.
Umandal, a member of the national squad that won silver in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, delivered 25 points with 24 coming off kills in his first game in a four-set loss to National University.
He followed it up with a 21-point production spiked with 13 excellent receptions but all his efforts went down the drain as UST bowed down to FEU in five sets.
Expectations are high for setter Retamar after his amazing stint with the national team in the SEA Games as its main playmaker.
The sophomore did not disappoint.
Retamar dished out 21 excellent sets that helped NU pound 59 attacks in its opening day win over UST. He backed his great playmaking with six points.
Retamar followed it up with 16 excellent sets and four points in the Bulldogs’ dominating win over Adamson University as NU kept a spotless record on top of the standings.
Njigha is slowly taking over the leadership role for Ateneo.
The Season 79 Rookie of the Year stepped up big time to help the Blue Eagles bounce back from an opening day loss.
He finished with 20 points built on 18 kills and two kill blocks in Ateneo’s straight sets win over De La Salle University.
Njigha finished with 12 points in the Blue Eagles’ opening day defeat at the hands of UP.
JOHN MARK RONQUILLO
The rookie made his presence felt for DLSU when he debuted with 11 points – all off attacks.
Although his effort was not enough to lift the Green Spikers past Ateneo, Ronquillo gave DLSU faithful a glimpse of their future star.
Together with another freshman in Vince Maglinao, DLSU could be looking at the cornerstones of the Green Spikers’ rise back to UAAP men’s volleyball prominence.
Adamson U started on the wrong foot after suffering a beating at the hands of NU.
But it didn’t stop skipper Leo Miranda from trying.
Miranda was limited to only seven points but he compensated his cold offensive outing with his floor defense as he tallied 16 digs and 16 excellent receptions.
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