UAAP 79 Preview: Green Spikers look to stand ground on the sands
Published on September 30th, 2016 | by Karl Niccolo Dela Cruz
For the past few years, the De La Salle University Green Spikers have struggled to make a name out of themselves in the UAAP Beach Volleyball scene. Despite the hard efforts, the Taft-based squad could not seem to be at par with the competition’s stakes getting higher every year. Whatever it was that saw the dwindling performance of the Green Spikers on sand before, it is all in the past now and the trio of Cris Dumago, Wayne Marco and Levin Dimayuga vow to be back, stronger than ever in the UAAP Season 79 Beach Volleyball tournament.
Finding the right mix
In last year’s UAAP Beach Volleyball tournament, the team of Carlo Sendo, up-and-rising spiker Dumago and beach volleyball veteran Dimayuga fronted for the Green Spikers. Although it may seem that the trio would fare well given their credentials in the volleyball scene, the Green Spikers weren’t able to live up to the expectations with the team finishing with a measly 1-6 win-loss card to put them on 7th place behind the only team they were able to beat, UE. It was evident how the team bannered different combinations of players to solve their chemistry woes but the switching of spikers backfired against them, as each playing duo was not able to jell with each other to unleash offensive variations and strengthen floor defense.
Team chemistry has always been to blame for the Green Spikers’ unsuccessful campaign in beach volleyball. However, the current roster of Dumago, Marco and Dimayuga may be able to turn things around in this season’s beach tourney. “Mas matatag yung pag-uusap namin. Mas maganda yung bonding namin kasi magkakakilala kami,” claimed team captain Dumago. The Green Spikers see their familiarity with each other as an advantage for the team to spell improvements in this year’s tourney.
Although the team has only prepared for the tournament recently, the Green Spikers consider their experience and teamwork during indoor trainings as an advantage for their performance on sand. To add, the Green Spikers believe that they should toughen up and learn how to adjust with each other inside the court. “Yung communication sa court [kailangan ma-improve] kasi last time parang magulo yung communication namin,” said Dimayuga.
A familiar coach resurfacing
Chemistry aside, the Green Spikers also consider their new head coach an asset to their beach volleyball campaign. As the legendary coach, Ernesto “Nes” Pamilar has agreed to take on the rebuilding Green Spikers after years away from volleyball, the beach trio look up to him for guidance and discipline in the sand court.
“Mas binigyan niya ng pansin yung attitude namin towards the game,” said a grateful Dimayuga on Pamilar’s coaching style. The Green Spikers have undergone a rigorous conditioning program to prepare for the tournament thus far. Relatively, the coaching staff has contributed to the team chemistry of the Green Spikers for their beach volleyball campaign.
Indeed the Green Spikers plan to make a comeback in this year’s tournament. Expect a tougher and a more resilient team to don the colors of Green and White this weekend. The Green Spikers face FEU and UP in their opening matches, October 1 at the SM Sands by the Bay.