Despite standing their ground and pulling off an upset victory against Rebisco-Philippines, Sta. Elena’s dynamic duo of Nico Almendras and Edward Camposana are simply glad to have had the chance to play against the country’s best volleyball players.
The Wrecking Balls grabbed their fifth win of the season at the expense of the National team. They were led by Almendras and Camposano who fired 18 and 14 points, respectively.
The team’s supporting cast was also on point. James Natividad scored 11 markers, while Berhashidin Daymil and Krisvan Ponti added 10 and six.
“Masaya kasi National team yun eh, hindi basta-basta. Kami naman, puro bata lang yung mga bago. Yun nga, masaya kasi natalo namin sila, nag-improve pa yung mga pinaghandaan namin sa training,” said the UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year.
“Para sa akin, sobrang thankful [ako] kasi naka-experience kami nang ganiyang kalaban. [Yung] mga coaches namin sa mga teammates namin, sobrang thankful kami sa kanila.”
The Wrecking Balls gave the Philippine team a hard time on the receiving end, with the Nationals gathering a lowly total of 22 excellent digs and 29 receptions.
“Sinunod ko lang yung instructions sa amin ni coach [Dong Dela Cruz] na kapag may chance na mai-set sa’kin, paluin ko daw po talaga. Challenge ko lang daw po talaga,” said Camposano, who attempted 30 attacks in the game.
The duo also relished the opportunity to play against the likes of Francis Saura, Bryan Bagunas, and Kim Malabunga, who have graduated from NU and are a part of the Philippine National team.
“Masaya na nagkalaban-laban kami, sila kuya Francis, si kuya Bryan, si Kuya Kim – yung mga seniors namin na,” said Almendras, who was the second leading scorer in the Bulldogs’ championship run behind Bagunas.
“Hindi na namin sila kasama sa loob, kumbaga parang kami naman ‘yung nacha-challenge sa kanila kasi sila ‘yung nakalaban namin,” added Camposano.
With their momentum at a high, Almendras and Camposano hope that they can sustain this and use it as a fuel in their UAAP title defense.
“‘Yung attitude naming dalawa part ng team… Kumbaga mas ine-explore pa po namin ‘yung samahan sa team. Bale, dalawa po kaming talagang main spiker talaga sa loob. Ipu-push lang talaga namin hanggang sa UAAP,” Camposano bared.
“Dalawa kami na inaasahan sa team. Yung sa amin naman, pinaghahandaan lang namin lahat ng makakalaban namin,” Almendras expressed.