Green Archers power forward Ben Phillips can now be also called a middle blocker for the Green Spikers.
This as he was part of De La Salle University’s men’s volleyball team that lost to University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Although the 6-foot-8 dual sport athlete was not fielded by the Green Spikers, just being part of the team is already a blessing for him.
He did not even care about not getting floor time as he knows that their lineup is loaded in all positions and he is just enjoying his time there, being one of the best cheerleaders just like he did with the Green Archers.
“It’s just a dream come true talaga to be able to put on the jersey of the Green Spikers. Just a different team but we’re also fighting for one goal,” shared the 23-year-old Filipino-American after the match.
“I just wanna improve every day, I’m a rookie all over again so I have to really learn from the kuyas here.”
Although many were surprised by this move by Phillips, he has been doing this since high school, playing basketball and volleyball simultaneously.
But how did this all happen? Well, the eldest of the three Phillips brothers in La Salle happened to mention when he first arrived in the Philippines that he also plays volleyball.
After the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament, Green Spikers head coach Arnold Laniog invited him over to a tuneup game against Petro Gazz, a team the tactician formerly work for as an assistant coach.
“I find volleyball to be a good cross-training for basketball especially sa offseason, it really helps with your vertical jumping, your timing, and your reaction, and I just really love volleyball,” said Benjamin, who is also the cousin of Petro Gazz star MJ.
“When I first arrived I kinda mentioned that I also play volleyball but I didn’t really practice with the team until after the first UAAP season. That’s when Coach Arnold was with Petro Gazz so I had a tuneup game with Petro Gazz and then from there, after the second UAAP season I started practicing.”
New Green Archers head coach Topex Robinson has been cool with the setup as well, doing the adjustments for Phillips to be able to be in shape for both sports.
And for that, the gentle giant is grateful.
“Coach Topex has been really helpful in balancing my basketball practices and volleyball practices. He’s really supportive about it and I’m really thankful that he understands.”
Phillips, a UAAP 3×3 silver medalist, is looking forward to the rest of the tournament and when his name is called, expect him to deliver.
However, he also said that being a rookie on the team, he wants the spotlight on the long-time Green Spikers members.
“I’m just really taking this as a learning experience we have a lot of amazing players here. Hopefully, when my number is called to go on the court I’ll make sure to give it my all,” shared Phillips.
“I’m really just looking forward to supporting everyone that’s here and really learning. I want the spotlight to be on the rest of my teammates.”