Carino Reigning MVP Angel Canino and the rest of DLSU crew are ready for another shot at a UAAP women’s volleyball championship. UAAP photo

UAAP: La Salle opens campaign vs Adamson

February 17, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 171 views

LA SALLE opens its quest for title No. 13 against Adamson today in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Despite losing several key players, either to graduation or opting to turn pro early, there’s one thing that the Lady Spikers can turn on: the championship pedigree of playing under long-time coach Ramil de Jesus.

Aside from filling the huge void left by setter Mars Alba, Julia Coronel will be La Salle’s new captain of the ship.

“I would say now that we are ready for this upcoming season,” said Coronel. “Kasi grabe din po ang naging preparation namin throughout the preseason and gusto talaga naming manalo ulit kami at hawak po ang championship this season.”

Taking the leadership role is a challenge for Coronel, but the 23-year playmaker is grateful for the trust given to her by the coaching staff and her teammates.

“So far looking great. Na-embrace ko rin yung role ko as a team captain and starting setter of the team,” said Coronel.

The Lady Spikers, who trained in Thailand at the start of the year, and the Lady Falcons take the floor at 4 p.m.

Ateneo and host University of the East clash in the other women’s match at 2 p.m.

La Salle remains stacked as ever behind reigning MVP

Angel Canino, Thea Gagate, Alleiah Malaluan, Shevana Laput, Amie Provido, Maicah Larroza, Baby Jyne Soreño and libero Lyka De Leon.

Another team which underwent a major overhaul was Adamson, which placed third last season.

JP Yude, who recently steered the Baby Falcons to their first-ever high school girls volleyball championship, will make his debut as women’s coach.

Aside from the departure of coach Jerry Yee and the loss of several key players from last year’s bronze medal team, Adamson’s top middle blocker Lorene Toring saw her college career come to a premature end due to an ACL injury.

The Lady Falcons are looking forward to have Angelica Alcantara as the new starting setter, while holdovers Lucille Almonte, Shar Ancheta, Jen Villegas, Antonette Adolfo and libero Karen Verdeflor to deliver the goods.

Red Bascon and Barbie Jamili are also seeking to make an impact as first-year players for Adamson.

With a bigger role, Almonte hopes that the Lady Falcons’ impressive preseason showing despite all the changes will also translate into UAAP success.

“Sobrang laki po kasi isa po ako sa mga naiwan from last season. Kailangan ko po talagang mag-step up and kailangan ko talagang i-guide ng maayos ang team,” said Almonte.

“Sobrang blessed naman ako kasi nandiyan yung mga coaches ko para i-guide nila kami,” she added.

The Blue Eagles will now have Brazilian Sergio Veloso to man the sidelines, while Yee has brought his act to the Lady Warriors.

Coming off a 4-10 campaign last year, the first time Ateneo missed the Final Four since 2009, libero Roma Mae Doromal, AC Miner and Lyanne de Guzman will be there to help the youngsters led by rookie setter Shaine Cortez.

Khy Cepada, Riza Nogales, Dara Nieva and libero Ange Reyes will be UE’s glue that will stick together from rookies Casiey Dongallo, Gracen Fernandez and Kizzie Madriaga, all products of the decorated California Academy high school program.

In the men’s division, Nigerian Aimar Okeke will make his much-awaited debut for the Blue Eagles against the Red Warriors at 10 a.m., while the Noel Kampton-led Green Spikers and the Falcons, who both won preseason championships, collide at 12 noon.