By: Ohmer Bautista
Defending NCAA Champions the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas got their first taste of victory at the expense of the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 19-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 15-13, in the Premier Volleyball League Men’s Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Altas – who lost their first two games against the National University and University of Santo Tomas – improve to a 1-2 win-loss card. And Altas’ assistant coach Marcelo Joaquin knew that this win would redeem the confidence that his wards had lost during their slump.
“Sobrang laking confidence na nagagawa sa mga players namin,” he said. “Sa dalawang pagkatalo namin, sobrang worse ng nangyari siyempre champion team kami sa NCAA.
“Eto siguro ‘yung time na lumabas ulit ‘yung champion heart nila sa game. Magandang simula ulit ‘to. At least, ‘yung confidence nila, tumaas na ulit,” he added.
Down 1-2 in sets after a slow start, the Altas got their groove going in the fourth set, pouncing on FEU’s errors to forge a decider.
“Una kasi, napansin namin na mabagal ‘yung game nila. ‘Yung attitude nila sobrang mabigat,” Joaquin admitted. “Nung fourth set na, nag iba na ‘yung play nila. Bumilis at gumaan na ‘yung laro nila.”
The Altas then raced to a 13-10 lead in the fifth set, extending it with a Louie Ramirez block, before a John Patrick Ramos off-the-block hit iced the game for good.
NCAA Most Valuable Player Joebert Almodiel topscored for Altas with 20, while Ron Rosales chipped 12 spiked by three blocks.
Meanwhile, John Paul Bugaon also had a 20 point outing spiked by four blocks in the defeat. Tams’ skipper Paler added 14 markers for FEU, which fell to 0-2 card.
The Altas will look to carry their momentum as they take on the unblemished Adamson University Soaring Falcons (3-0) on Sunday, August 5, at the same venue. The Tamaraws, on the other hand, seek a bounce back win against the De La Salle University Green Spikers (0-2) on Saturday, August 4, at the same venue.
UPHSD (3) – Almodiel 20, Rosales 12, Kasim 10, Ramos 7, Ramirez 7, Muhali 6, Casana 2, Bation 1, Baggayan 0, Emarciso 0, Go (L), Isidro (L).
FEU (2) – Bugaoan 20, Paler 14, Bautista 10, De Asis 8, Calado 4, Quiel 4, Salabsab 1, Fernandez 1, Silang 0, Suarez 0, Jungco 0, Lorenzo (L), Barrica (L).