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Pling Baclay dedicates 7-block performance to Nina Ytang


With Niña Ytang attending to family matters since last Wednesday, University of the Philippines suddenly had a huge hole in the middle.

Insert rookie middle blocker Pling Baclay.

After only playing very limited minutes in two of their first five matches, scoring a point in each game, the 20-year-old out of Lantapan, Bukidnon was called to replace the position left by Ytang, the second-highest scoring middle blocker next to Thea Gagate of De La Salle University.

On Wednesday’s game against University of Santo Tomas, Baclay had a modest game of five points but it was on Sunday that she really introduced herself.

Against Casiey Dongallo and University of the East, Baclay put up a defensive masterpiece to help the Fighting Maroons enter the win column, 25-21, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17.

The 5-foot-8 quicker unleashed a career-best 10 points on three attacks and a season-high seven blocks.

“Thankful po ako kina coach na pinagkatiwalaan po ako nila this time,” said the soft-spoken Baclay after the match at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

“Yun nga po, knowing na wala po si Ate Niña nasa isip ko po kailangan ko mag-step up po sa team para maipakita ko po kung paano si Ate Niña sa court, magagawa ko rin kung ano yung mga ginagawa niya,” she continued.

UAAP86-WVB-Pling-Baclay-5387 Pling Baclay dedicates 7-block performance to Nina Ytang News UAAP UP Volleyball  - philippine sports newsAnd she really did what Ytang was doing for the Fighting Maroons. Prior to Baclay’s defensive show, it was Ytang who held the season-high in blocks with six against Adamson University on February 24 and Ateneo de Manila University on February 28.

With this morale-boosting win, UP finished the first round at seventh place with a 1-6 record. It is tied with UE but gets the tiebreaker due to win over the other rule.

#ReadMore  La Salle's injury woes intensify as Jyne Soreño suffers setback

Head coach Oliver Almadro, who was ecstatic to be in the postgame press conference for the first time this season, applauded the rise of Baclay.

“We’re proud kami as a rookie kay Pling na — ang maganda sa kanya kasi naghahardwork, pangiti-ngiti lang, hindi natatakot mahirapan,” said the first-year UP coach.

“Lagi kong sinasabi sa mga players you’re responsible for what is your worth so responsable siya kung anong magiging siya so hardwork and napakasaya namin kasi nga nabigyan siya ng opportunity and she took that big shoes to fill in pero as a rookie hindi siya natakot,” he added.

“Yun naman ang meron ang UP laban lang, yung faith, desire, at yung will niya magdeliver nandoon so thank you Pling.”

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.


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