UAAP Season 79 Team Preview: Green Spikers
Published on February 4th, 2017 | by Karl Niccolo Dela Cruz
Although it was expected of the De La Salle University Green Spikers to make a comeback last UAAP Season 78, the Taft-based squad was marred with a heave of losses and a sub-par 6th place finish in the men’s volleyball tournament. The Green Spikers tried giving it their all but couldn’t seem to match the giants of the UAAP. Whatever it was that caused their lackluster performance in the past is all behind them now as they look to turn things around in Season 79.
The Green Spikers enter Season 79 with a new team captain, a new coach but with an old goal for the tournament – to get the team to a final 4 finish and eventually a championship. It will be another dogfight for the Green Spikers as all the UAAP teams, including La Salle, have been prepping up for the season.
This year, the team would need to bank on its defense, both at the net and on the floor, to secure a more consistent performance for the Green Spikers. Libero Jopet Movido has shown improvement in the past year giving the tourney’s top liberos a run for their money. However, Movido could not work alone as the Green Spikers should also do their fair share of reception for a steadier line of defense for the Green and White team. Blocking on the other hand has been a bit of a problem for the Green Spikers in the past few years which the team should focus on for this season. Joshua Jose, Rafael Del Pilar and Geraint Bacon are expected to step up this season. Attacking proved good for the Green Spikers as they have reliable wingers in Raymark Woo, Arjay Onia and Cris Dumago. However, these spikers must learn how to use attack variations courtesy of their team captain, Geuel Asia’s playmaking. “Ibubuhos na namin lahat,” vowed team captain Asia
According to new team captain, the team needs to focus on their issues on communication and self-confidence which served as setbacks for the Green Spikers in the past. “Ang ginawa naming adjustment for this season is maniwala sa kakayanan ng bawat isa at ilaro kung anong dapat ilaro,” said the setter. In addition, Asia emphasized how vital the team’s discipline and attitude will be crucial for the Green Spikers to maintain their chemistry inside the court. Although the team’s brotherhood has been steadier in the past two years, Asia still sees that the team needs more improvement in terms of mindset. “As a team ang mindset namin is one game at a time and hindi namin kailangang i-pressure and bawat isa para makapasok sa final four,” added the setter.
Coming off a volleyball hiatus, legendary coach Nes Pamilar is back to call the shots for the Green Spikers. After a few negotiations with the La Salle management, the former FEU Lady Tamaraws head coach had finally agreed to serve as the coach for the Green Spikers. Leading FEU to multiple championships in his time as their coach, the Taft-based squad is expected to do wonders in this year’s tournament.
At the start of his duties as La Salle coach, the Green Spikers saw team adjustments and team improvements instantly. He stressed how the team should exercise self-discipline and respect to each other inside the court. Pamilar also sought out the help the team needed in terms of their problems and weaknesses in the playing field. Not only do the Green Spikers see Pamilar as a coach in volleyball but they also consider him somewhat a life coach in aspects of his wisdom. “Sobrang laki ng impact niya when it comes sa training because he will support is all throughout and he never gets us down. Actually, he’s gives us inspiration in life,” expressed Asia.
Indeed, the Green Spikers are looking forward to showcase the wisdom Pamilar has been passing down on the team. He insists that the team takes the tournament one game at a time and to focus on developing each and every one’s skillsets to serve as the team’s template to winning. ”Sabi ni [coach] hindi ganun kadali na maging malakas agad ang isang team, kailangan pa itong sanayin and makilala ang bawat isa para mabuo nang hindi matitibag ng kahit sino man ang lumaban,” added Asia. Pamilar sees no pressure for the team and hopes to make magic again in the UAAP.
With a legendary coach and Asia’s leadership serving as a backbone for the Green Spikers, the team is more than willing to give it their all this season. Will the Green Spikers finally make it back to the Final 4?