How can you stop the Sun from rising? | Inquirer Sports
One Game At A Time

How can you stop the Sun from rising?

/ 11:39 PM September 14, 2013

WITH the way the Cagayan is dominating the Shakey’s V-League Open tournament with a seven-game sweep of the classification round, the question to ask is who will stop the Rising Suns from going all the way to the title?

With a star-studded lineup of some of the game’s recent best college players and two Thai imports that are playing beautiful music together, it’s clear that it will take more than just the usual coaching mantra of  “one receive” and patayin ang bola (kill the offense) to shake up the current dominance of Cagayan.

No team has come close to threatening the Rising Suns and without intending to be so, Cagayan’s games have become sparring matches.  One wonders if the psychological edge that Cagayan has is just too much so much so that teams already have an excuse for losing. They’re really so strong, opponents may say, and there lies the possible cop out.

How then does one at least try to stop the Cagayan blitzkrieg?

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First, lineups of opponents have to be complete to have a fighting chance.  The UAAP beach volleyball tournament is on and some players, like Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez (she plays for Smart), can’t suit up in the V-League.  The UAAP is strict about not allowing players to moonlight in other leagues when their own tournament is in progress.  We all know what happened to the FEU women’s basketball team when player Vangie Soriano played in another tournament during the current UAAP season.  FEU voluntarily forfeited five of their won games and put a Final Four trip in peril.

If a team can’t get the bulk of their stars and rosters complete when they play Cagayan, they can’t hope to match the team firepower for firepower.  Cagayan hits well from open sets and quicks and even has a play where the two Thais connive. Setter Phomla Soraya tosses and hitter Kannika Thipatchot strikes with a hit from the back row.  Cagayan has not really been tested defensively and doing so might at least slow down their offense.

Second, defense will have to be airtight and alert.  Opponents have lost energy for offense trying to stop Cagayan with blocks at the net.  It’s the floor defense that will have to be extra alert against the Rising Suns because strikers like Wenneth Eulalio and Angie Tabaquero know how to work the angles.

Third, teams will have to fortify their mind-set when playing Cagayan.  It isn’t going to be easy to beat such a solid crew but it will have to be a battle for every point, dig and save.  Entering the game with a weak perspective will result in a lackluster effort.

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Do I want to see Nes Pamiliar and his team fail with all these suggestions? Not at all.

As the line from Bee Gees song used in the title of this piece explains, a challenge makes the world go round and much more fun to live in. I’m interested in seeing the Rising Suns get a true test of their worth.  They probably already have one foot in the championship round but it would make for a juicier tournament if just one team threatens some sort of delay on the sun rising for Cagayan.

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TAGS: Cagayan Rising Suns, Shakey’s, Shakey’s V-League Open, V-League, Volleyball

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