With a ton of missed receives and broken plays, the Patriots spikers’ slump persisted in their rubber match against University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) competitor National University (NU) as the Bulldogs chomped the set scores, 23-25, 13-25, 25-14, in the Imus Volleyball League (IVL) Invitational 2016 at the City of Imus Sports Complex on December 11.
Smashing the rock
Before the clash between the Bulldogs and Patriots, DLSU-D spikers grabbed their first win as they escaped the Rockwell volleyball team in a 21-25, 26-24, 25-19, and 25-19 come back last November 27, in the same venue.
Exchanging plays during the first frame, both teams kept their scores close and claimed a one-point advantage one after another, 12-12. Shattering the frigid deadlock, the Rockwell volleyball team continued to hit the mark and take over for a one-to-nothing advantage, 21-25.
Despite the set’s tight start, both Rockwell and the Patriots spikers showcased their resilient run to tie the game, 18-all. Throwing away the opportunity, the opponent’s service error permitted Patriot Eddiemar Kasim to tally two consecutive aces and enabled Al-sharin Abdulwahab to tie the game with a free ball point, 26-24.
Launching the third canto in a closely-contested match, the Patriots displayed a steadier offense and defense to stay in the match, 17-all. With the opponent’s slow and predictable plays, the green-and-white squad took a two to one advantage, 25-19.
Leaving the Rockwell shattered and hapless, the green-and-white team continued to destroy their defense and claim their first win in the league, 25-19.
Taming the UAAP season 78 volleyball men’s 2nd placers, DLSU-D led with eight points in the first set, 16-8. The cushion lasted until the scores of 23-18, but the green-and-white squad lost composure and allowed NU to post a 5-0 run, 23-all. Coming back to life, the Bulldogs blew away the Patriots and clinched the first set, 25-23.
“Naging kampante sila. Akala nila siguro kayang-kaya nila ‘yong kalaban. Pagdating kasi ng 23-18, nawalan na sila ng receive at blockings,” Patriot spiker assistant coach Ran Abdilla expressed.
As the Patriots failed to barge a momentum-shifting action, the Bulldogs released their electrifying offense in the second and third set that dominated the high strung Dasmariñas-based squad, concluding with the scores of 25-13 and 26-14.
Affirming the Bulldogs’ pace, DLSU-D committed 14 unforced errors and granted NU six aces in the last two of three sets.
“Puro kasi sila mga bata…” Patriot head coach Abdilla commented on the major factor of their loss. “Iba pa din ‘yong may mga experience na, at least mayro’ng nag-a-advice sa kanila sa loob … malakas ‘yong team kung talagang sa paluan lang kaso ‘yong maturity, wala talaga sa kanila,” the former national team standout furthered as few of the Patriot volleyball squad’s pivotal players stepped into the graduating scene, including quicker Aldin Bin and setter Jerome Mirano.
With the Philippine Airforce volleyball team backing out of the league, DLSU-D is now eliminated from the semifinals berth. Hoping to reclaim their championship crown, the Animo squad will try to jump back to composure in the Private Schools Athletic Association–Provincials games on February 2017.