UAAP Volleyball’s 5 best liberos after Round 1
They may often be overlooked because they are in non-scoring positions, but liberos are just as important as the other players in a team. Without their defense, their teammates will surely have a more difficult time setting up plays and racking up the points. INQUIRER.net is counting down the five best liberos in UAAP women’s volleyball after the first round.
Honorable mention: Ria Duremdes (FEU Lady Tamaraws)
FEU has always been known for producing quality liberos with Tin Agno being its most recent outstanding alum. The Lady Tamaraws, however, don’t look like they are missing her services because of the emergence of rookie Ria Duremdes who finished the first round as the league’s sixth-best digger and seventh-best receiver. The future looks bright for the Morayta-based squad; even Agno was not playing this well in her first year.
#5 Arielle Estrañero (UP Lady Maroons)
Arielle Estrañero, a former high school spiker, ranked first in reception after the first round with a 35.17% efficiency rating, and is the main reason why UP is now the second-best receiving team in the league. She could have ranked higher on this list, but her name is nowhere to be found in the ranking of best diggers as she shares time with UP’s other libero, Pia Gaiser.
#4 Bia General (NU Lady Bulldogs)
After the graduation of ace libero Jen Reyes, Bia General struggled to come out of the multi-awarded libero’s shadow. But she used off-season tournaments to hone her skills and gain confidence on her way to becoming one of the tournament’s more stable defensive aces. She currently ranks third in the receiving department and fourth in digging. Reyes is Reyes, but General is slowly but surely building her own legacy.
#3 Jellie Tempiatura (Adamson Lady Falcons)
Perhaps no other team is more known for its floor defense than Adamson. Continuing to anchor that solid defense is Jellie Tempiatura. The former high school setter has settled into her role as the team’s main libero and is averaging an 11.90% efficiency rating in receiving and 2.30 digs per set.
#2 Kathleen Arado (UE Lady Warriors)
Rarely does the UAAP award rookie of the year honors to a libero. The last one to achieve that feat was DLSU’s Melissa Gohing in Season 71. In Season 77, however, UE’s Kathleen Arado surprised everyone when she was named top freshman along with UST hitter EJ Laure. This year, she proves that that award was no fluke as she continues to deliver on the floor. Playing as the constant bright spot for the struggling Lady Warriors, she is the currently the league’s second best digger and fifth best receiver.
#1 Dawn Macandili (DLSU Lady Spikers)
It’s hard to forget a libero like Melissa Gohing—a former Rookie of the Year and a four-time UAAP champion. So people cannot blame DLSU fans if they have been critical of Dawn Macandili’s performance. But just like Bia General, Macandili used off-season tournaments to better her game, and judging by her showin this season, it has worked wonders for her and her team. Macandili is currently leading the league in digs with an average of 3.13 stops per set, and is second in reception with a 30.72% efficiency norm. It’s difficult to duplicate Gohing’s feat, but Macandili is coming into her own, and that is one of the most important pieces for the Lady Spikers to get back the crown.
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