Shevana Laput’s quick leap to MVP level leaves La Salle teammates in awe
MANILA, Philippines — UAAP rookie MVP Angel Canino and former Lady Spiker Jolina Dela Cruz marveled at the rapid development of Shevana Laput from being introduced to volleyball just last year to a Most Valuable Player in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals.
With the La Salle coaching staff opting to rest their biggest star Canino, who won the Season 85 MVP and Rookie of the Year, the 19-year-old Laput stood the tallest in the Lady Spikers’ second championship this year.
Canino, who cheered for the Lady Spikers every game, is proud of the vast improvement of the former long jump athlete, who only took up volleyball last year before playing instrumental as a role player in Season 85 to end a five-year title drought and dethrone National University.
“I’m so proud of her because she has really improved a lot from last year when she just started playing volleyball. She continues to prove herself to us and our coaches that she can do more. That’s why she became the MVP,” said Canino in Filipino of her batchmate.
For Jolina Dela Cruz, who already graduated and is now playing for F2 Logistics in the Premier Volleyball League, the 6-foot-2 Best Opposite Spiker is really a fast learner that’s why she excels in volleyball despite only learning the sport recently.
“When she entered La Salle, she had zero [experience in volleyball] and what coach Ramil (De Jesus) likes about her is she doesn’t have any bad habits and she can quickly adapt and apply all the learnings from coach. She really improved a lot,” said Dela Cruz, who was the runner-up to Canino in the UAAP MVP race.
Besides Laput, the do-it-all outside hitter is proud of the Lady Spikers after winning a title in their first tournament without her and Mars Alba as well as Fifi Sharma, who already turned pro with Akari.
“I’m super proud of them because last SSL we only got the silver, now they achieved a better finish. This is a good preparation for UAAP,” she said.
La Salle assistant coach Noel Orcullo hopes that the Filipino-Australian spiker will be able to carry her stellar play in their upcoming UAAP title defense next year.
“She was the most consistent player this tournament right from the very start. Although her scoring went down in today’s game. But hopefully, she will continue her development and translate it to the UAAP from this experience,” said Orcullo.
Laput’s first MVP won’t stop her from reaching greater heights as she promised to improve her defense and become a more complete player.
“I know my offense has been really good but there’s always defense that’s my downside so I need to work on that,” Laput said. “By that time (UAAP), I’m gonna get my defense down. That’s for sure I’ll definitely do that.”