Coast Guard still in the rebuilding process

ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 29, 2016 02:39 AM
Coast Guard still in the rebuilding process
Lady Dolphins coach Butch Odron (extreme right) with his coaching staff and team manager…”We are still in the process of rebuilding the team.”

Reappearing in the 2015 Reinforced Conference of Shakey’s V-League under new coach Butch Ordon, the Lady Dolphins of the Philippine Coast Guard pulled off a thrilling upset over heavily favored Kia to avert a complete shutout.      

The 13th season of the nation’s longest running competition in women’s volleyball is nearing its homestretch again, and coach Ordon and the Lady Dolphins, pitting an all-Filipino lineup against stronger teams further beefed up by foreign guest players, are still looking for a face-saving win. A possible 7-0 wind-up in the eight-team 2016 Reinforced Conference, another collaboration between organizer Sports Vision and Accel (the official outfitter) and Mikasa (the official ball), is staring them in the face.     

But Ordon isn’t worried.

So are the generals running the Coast Guard, they who have decreed, says the coach, full support for the Lady Dolphins in the same measure that they support their now world famous Dragon boat teams. How come?

“We are still in the initial process of rebuilding the team,” says Ordon. “As you can see, our present lineup do not have the veterans like Rossan Fajardo and Mary Cristel Rosale, the core of the team, who are away doing the six-month basic military training (BMT). They will rejoin us in January next year yet.”

Ordon further explains that what he has in his hands are mostly newcomers picked from schools in Luzon, most of whom are first-timers in the V-League. A few, he adds, had not played yet on a rubber-covered court which, for the record, was first used in the country by Sports Vision for its groundbreaking tourney that has evolved into a hugely successful one. “Do you know that some of them were even afraid to play before a huge crowd in a match with live TV coverage,” says the coach laughing good-naturedly.   

Making up the present team are taller and younger players from Lyceum of the Philippines University in Laguna, University of Batangas as well as schools from Bulacan, Pangasinan and Baguio.

“We continue to receive a deluge of inquiries from provincial players from universities and colleges all over Luzon wanting to join the team and have a career with the Philippine Coast Guard. We have scheduled tryouts for them for tight screening.”   

Though still ending up on the losing end in their last two matches so far in the ongoing Reinforced Conference, his team’s recent performances have gratified the coach.

“It felt good seeing my provincial players getting used to playing in a big-time tournament. They have completely shed off their shyness and are now trading attacks with the established spikers of the other teams. They are now capable of engaging the opposition in longer rallies.”     

Wait till the best of them blend with the returning veterans, Odon warns.

Let’s see when the 2017 Open Conference rolls by possibly in March or April.

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