By: Rom Anzures
Ken Umali made a name for himself in San Beda University’s stunning win against the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA in game two of the NCAA Season 98 Men’s Volleyball Finals, which was also the back-to-back defending champions’ first loss in 33 games since 2018.
Despite his stellar performance of 19 points and 10 excellent receptions, the first-year standout didn’t take any credit and quickly praised how his team played in the win.
“Nagpapasalamat lang ako kay Lord kasi binigyan Niya kami ng magandang kumpyansa kanina kaya talagang lumaro kami as a unit,” said Umali.
“Gumalaw talaga kami as a team. Kasi 2-0 na, so binuhos namin lahat. Sabi ni coach, wala nang kinabukasan so talagang binigay lang namin yung best namin.”
The 5-foot-10 outside hitter from Batangas still demands more from himself even with his impressive play, as he is quickly turning into one of the pillars of the young Mendiola-based squad.
After all, despite notching a historic win, the job is not yet done. There is still a crown to win.
“Talagang mas uutay-utayin ko pa, talagang more practice and improvement pa kasi athlete pa ‘rin naman, nagkakamali ‘rin, pero basta andun yung salitang bawi, and tiwala lang sa sarili,” he added.
But even with the momentum for a better chance to clinch the series and steal the title from Perpetual, Umali revealed that there are still specific adjustments to be made for the Red Spikers, and above all, it is their trust in each other that will take them to their ultimate goal.
“For now, focus lang ulit sa ensayo, paghihirapan namin lalong lalo na sa defense and blocking. Then yung sa pasa namin para ma-execute yung bola ng mabilis at maka atake kami,” Umali shaered.
“Tiwala lang sa mga kasamahan ko, tiwala lang sa bawat isa.”