UAAP: Angel Canino return could happen in critical clash vs UST
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UAAP: Angel Canino’s return could happen in critical clash vs UST

/ 04:20 AM April 23, 2024

La Salle Lady Spikers star Angel Canino is sidelined with arm injury in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

La Salle Lady Spikers star Angel Canino is sidelined with arm injury in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Assistant coach Noel Orcullo has said very little concerning the status of Angel Canino. But this time, what he said had a lot of meat in it.

“Hopefully she can return, if not in our game against UST (University of Santo Tomas), in the semis [for sure],” Orcullo said, referring to the anticipated return of star spiker Angel Canino possibly on Saturday, when the Lady Spikers dispute a twice-to-beat Final Four bonus with UST in Season 86 of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.

“[Canino’s] progress in recovery has been good. So far, she is doing therapy,” added Orcullo in Filipino just minutes after the Lady Spikers took a piece of the elimination round lead with the idle Golden Tigresses and National University at 11-2 heading into the final week of classification.

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READ: UAAP: Angel Canino has right arm injury from accident

Canino, the reigning Rookie-Most Valuable Player, has missed the last five games because of an injury the cause of which coaching staff has tried to conceal all this time.

Already warming up

But after everyone saw Canino join the warmups in an eventual 25-12, 25-12, 25-18 La Salle whitewashing of bitter rival Ateneo on Sunday, it seems that the coaching staff will have close to everyone on deck for the match against the Tigresses.

As things stand, the Lady Bulldogs are highly favored to get to 12 wins first when they battle also-ran Adamson on Wednesday. National also has superior points total over La Salle and Santo Tomas in case of a tiebreak.

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READ: UAAP: La Salle stays locked in on goal as Angel Canino recovers

The Lady Spikers and the Tigresses will then part ways on Saturday, with the loser winding up as the No. 3 squad that will be tasked to play the winner of that match and needing to win two straight times to advance to the title series.

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La Salle still has the shot at a playoff bonus even after the accident that left Canino with a big laceration in her right wrist, thanks in large part to Shevana Laput and Thea Gagate, the Lady Spikers’ twin towers which has been doing great on both ends.

“With her out, I need to step up for her and do justice for her,” said Laput, who has been filling in the void left by Canino. “Personally, I’m playing for both of us right now. I always say to her: ‘This is also yours.’”

READ: UAAP: La Salle survives anew without Angel Canino, outlasts UE

Laput plugged in 102 points for La Salle in the five games that Canino sat out, with 15 coming in that win over the Blue Eagles.

Gagate, meanwhile, finished with 16 points from 10 attacks apart from her game-high six blocks to help La Salle shoot down the Blue Eagles for the 14th consecutive time.

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“Now that we are done with Ateneo, we will turn our focus to our next game which is UST,” Gagate said as the Lady Spikers look for a contrasting result to their round one meeting with the Tigresses.

TAGS: Sports, Volleyball

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