Lady Bulldogs’ support cast gets its chance
National University (NU) already has a solid core, and in preparing its support cast for the Lady Bulldogs’ defense of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) title, coaching staff wants to make sure that the support cast will be ready.
That’s why NU coach Karl Dimaculangan will have his rookies and all the others who didn’t have much chance to play during a perfect 84th Season get all the time they need on the floor when the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) opens on Sept. 22.
“We are looking forward to fielding our new players so they will be able to adapt to our system in college. This is going to be a good exposure for them,” Dimaculangan told Inquirer Sports. “This is exciting since we will face both UAAP and NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) schools.”
It will also be a welcome tournament for them after being relieved of the duty of playing as the national team in the Asian Volleyball Confederation event later this month.
The Lady Bulldogs will have seven rookies coming in this season. High school standouts Vange Alinsug and Shai Jardio will be teaming up with rookie-Most Valuable Player (MVP) Bella Belen, Season 84 Best Opposite Spiker Alyssa Solomon, Best Setter Lams Lamina and Sheena Toring.
Last dance for vets
The school also announced early this month that Finals MVP Cess Robles, libero Jen Nierva, Ivy Lacsina and Joyme Cagande have committed to play one more year in Season 85.
Dimaculangan hopes to field all his players, but his line-up still depends on the conclusion of their technical meeting with the SSL. But the youthful coach’s priority is to expose his newcomers.
“I hope we can line up all our players for this tournament so we can try different rotations every game. The seniors for Season 85 will also be included in the line-up. But we are really prioritizing to give exposure to our other players, especially the rookies,” he said.
“This is a chance for the whole team to have more playing time and showcase their talent and skills.”
NU, which had a masterful 16-0 season last June, is going to face runner-up La Salle and four other UAAP schools. The Lady Bulldogs will also compete against 10 NCAA schools, headlined by reigning champion College of St. Benilde, which swept Season 97.
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