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Almodiel elated to see Perpetual rookies step up this early


University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas top gunner Joebert Almodiel was not his usual self last Tuesday.

The reigning, back-to-back NCAA Most Valuable Player had a forgettable outing against FEU, tallying only seven points across his name – far from his usual numbers for the Altas.

“So sa ngayon kasi, may nafe-feel ako na pain sa paa ko kaya sobrang ano… Pero ‘di ko siya iniisip na,” disclosed Almodiel following their four-set drubbing of the Tamaraws.

Despite the poor production from their main man, though, Perpetual still managed to extract victory over the Tamaraws.

And Almodiel had to thank rookies Kennry Malinis and Hero Austria for the victory.

Both Malinis and Austria stepped up for the banged-up Almodiel. The former tallied 17 hits and two blocks for 19 points, while the latter ended up with 13 markers to go along with 12 excellent receptions. The duo led Perpetual to a 2-0 win-loss slate, while also handing UAAP powerhouse FEU a harsh welcome.

“Thankful ako kasi yung mga rookies namin nag step-up, so malaking bagay din na naitulong sa’min,” admitted Almodiel, who also tallied 16 excellent receptions in the win.

The Mandaue-bred open hitter also felt relieved of the pressure on his shoulders, knowing that his team has his back, especially during testing times.

“As a senior, as a veteran na ‘di naman araw-araw Pasko, na maganda yung laro [namin]… Siguro kung saan ka pwede makatulong, doon ka na lang muna ,as long as may mga rookies na gumagana ‘di ba?” he explained.

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With their NCAA campaign still months away, Almodiel and the rest of the Altas hope to build their chemistry in time for their three-peat bid. But with their rookies impressing so far, the process may have fast-tracked for the back-to-back NCAA champs.

“Siguro almost hundred-percent na, kasi nakikita naman namin na yung mga bago talaga nagse-step up dahil sa yun nga, sa araw-araw na magkakasama kami sa ensayo, nagbo-bonding kami,” said the 22-year-old spiker.

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