Philips Gold Head Coach, Francis Vicente, suddenly decided to mix things up as he juggled between Iris Tolenada and backup setter, Sarah Espelita, in their five-set thriller against the Foton Tornadoes, last Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The strategy definitely paid dividends for the team.
“Siguro napapansin niyo na mas nagpapalit ako ng setter ngayon. So parang tiningnan ko kung iyon talaga ang problema, [kung sa] adjustments ba siya ng spikers. Iyon kasi ang palaging nating naririnig is masyadong mabilis ang pagset,” Vicente shared on his recent tactic. “Actually ‘yung set niya [Tolenada], hindi naman sinasabing mali. Actually, its [more on] sa adaptation ng mga spikers natin dito.”
For the most part of the 2015 Philippine SuperLiga All-Filipino Conference, setter, Iris Tolenada, has been given the lion’s share of minutes for the Lady Slammers. In four games that she played the entire contest, the Lady Slammers only had a 1-3 record.
Initial observations in the Lady Slammers’ mode of attack showed that Tolenada’s swift way of setting suddenly caught her attackers off-guard. This is because the way volleyball played in America is more fast-paced compared to our country. As the games went on, however, Tolenada and her crew continued to work on their coordination and communication in order for them to adjust to each other’s skill sets.
In five games played, Tolenada also saw her excellent sets count on a constant uptick, which indicated that all signs point forward to Philips Gold reaching its peak. Also, with Vicente’s recent tactic of constantly changing his setters, the Lady Slammers now have the luxury of dictating the pace of the games they play.
“Medyo adaptable pa rin doon sa mabagal na bitaw ng set so later makakaadjust na rin sila doon,” added Vicente. “Tiningnan ko ang fast set at slow set so binabago ko ang pace [ng game]. Akala nila kasi si Iris lang gagamit ko, pero ‘yun pala gagamitin ko rin ‘yung local setter, at halos lahat ng set niya [Espelita] pinatay nung spiker.”
Could this strategy finally be the solution to Philips Gold’s woes? Or will it cause more confusion to the team’s attackers in the long run? Well, the only way to find it out is to watch the team as they play their next set of games.
For their next game, Philips Gold shall face the undefeated Petron Blaze Spikers this coming Monday, 6:15 pm, at the Cuneta Astrodome.