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Feisty Ramirez shaking NU while orchestrating Adamson’s attack

“O Nico, diskarte mo na yan,” is a common refrain in any Adamson Falcons’ timeout. Nico Ramirez, Adamson’s third year setter, has coach Domingo Custodio’s full trust.

“Kung ako ang tatanungin, si Nico talaga ang isa sa mga pinakamalaking susi sa nilalaro namin. Magaling dumiskarte yung bata,” Custodio said of the former UAAP Rookie of the Year.

It’s hard to miss Ramirez on the court. Aside from his beautifully dynamic setting, Ramirez goes where there’s trouble to be had. Not letting his 5’6′ frame stand in his way, Ramirez doesn’t back down from anyone on the court.

When he finishes a terrific dump ball, he’ll let his opponents know about it. When he gets a block on a much taller spiker, he yells out a Mac Cardona-like ‘Anong height mo?!’ yell complete with the gesture. Ramirez wants to get into your nerves, he wants to live in your head.

“Kasama naman po talaga sa laro yun,” Ramirez told Tiebreaker Times, denying that he instigates any of the on-court jawing that has made him famous. “Kapag tinarash-talk ako, siyempre gagawin ko din sa kanila. Hindi naman puwedeng hayaan ko na lang sila na wala akong bawi.”

Ramirez plays with the complete opposite of composure. He likes the noise. He relishes in the chaos he creates.

In his three years in San Marcelino, Ramirez has helped the Falcons reach the Final Four. Always one of the lower two seeds, the Falcons were bounced immediately by their twice-to-beat foes.

Season 78 could be the breakthrough for the Falcons. Last Sunday, Adamson bucked the young NU Bulldogs in four sets to force a rubber match on Wednesday for the last Finals spot.

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Having dropped their last five matches against NU, Ramirez and Adamson banked on their veteran smarts against the longer, springier Bulldogs.

“Sa pagkabata nila, maliliksi sila. Pero kaya namin sila higitan kasi matatanda na kami kumilos sa court,” Ramirez thought. “Parang rattled sila. Marami silang error. Pabor sa amin yoon. Mara-rattle sila. Bibitaw sila.”

With the school’s first Finals appearance on the line, Ramirez believes that they shook the Bulldogs.

“Siguro kinabahan yung mga taga-NU. Kasi nga twice-to-beat sila, nawala na yung advantage nila. Siguro nagkaroon na sila ng kaunting nginig sa tuhod.”

For his part, Ramirez is incredibly confident that his team can make history on Wednesday.

“Mas may tiwala ako sa team na ‘to ngayon kesa dati. Iba this season. Mas mahigpit kami ng mga teammates ko. May tiwala ako sa amin na mauulit namin to sa Wednesday.”

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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