UAAP volleyball: Sergio Veloso, Ateneo brace for 'strong' La Salle

UAAP volleyball: Sergio Veloso, Ateneo brace for ‘strong’ La Salle

/ 09:18 PM March 01, 2024

Ateneo Blue Eagles UAAP

Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Bracing for his first rivalry game in the UAAP, Ateneo coach Sergio Veloso is fully aware of how strong defending champion La Salle is.

So with his Blue Eagles facing a tough opponent, the first-year coach in the league just wants his players to keep doing what they’ve been doing–giving it they’ve got inside the court.


“La Salle is a strong team. Everybody knows that. But no matter who plays on the other side, we try to do our best all the time. Play at 110 percent,” Sergio said.


SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball first round

Ateneo has been displaying resiliency in its past two games, forcing runner-up National University to a five-setter last week  before earning its first win in come-from-behind fashion over University of the Philippines last Wednesday.

The Brazilian mentor is set to face Ramil De Jesus, who is the most successful coach in the UAAP with 12 championships and 301 wins in the league, in his first-ever Ateneo-La Salle game.

Veloso is aware of the magnitude of the battle for school pride between the two long time ricals and La Salle’s winning tradition that is now carried by last year’s top rookie and MVP Angel Canino.

READ: UAAP volleyball: Sobe Buena says team effort led to her stellar showing

“And if the other teams play very well too, it’s good, it’s good for the fans, good for everybody in having a good match. But no matter who wins, because sometimes the opponent wins, sometimes we win but the big problem when you start to play and go down like now, it’s not the opponent won the sets, our team lost the sets, that’s the big difference.”

Ateneo Sergio Veloso UAAP

Ateneo coach Sergio Veloso in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/

La Salle, which holds a 10-game winning streak against Ateneo since the second round of Season 79 in 2017, seeks to bounce back from a tough five-set loss to league leader University of Santo Tomas last Sunday.


The Lady Spikers politely declined interviews after the frustrating loss that had sent them to a 2-1 record tied with NU and Far Eastern Univeristy.

Ateneo, meanwhile, is slowly finding its groove with Lyann De Guzman and Sobe Buena showing the way for the rebuilding Blue Eagles.

“We have more than 6-7 players and that’s important. When players start to go down, you have other players to [step up] and continue the level,” Veloso said.

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“The set is until 25. You need to fight to get to this point. It does not matter if the other team is up three or four points or one or two sets in front. Volleyball has five sets and you need to win three. Keep playing. I’m happy with this [win] because in our practice, our team and players showed that [fight].”

TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, De La Salle Lady Spikers, Sergio Veloso, UAAP Season 86

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