MANILA, Philippines – After the first week of UAAP women’s volleyball action, Rappler ranks the teams based on their performance, game results and stats from TMX Sports.
Below are the power rankings for week one. All photo by Josh Albelda:
1. National University
An inspired effort against Santo Tomas Wednesday, December 5 was thoroughly impressive, with Santiago, Pablo, Cai Nepomuceno and power-hitting rookie Aiko Urdas all contributing as the Lady Bulldogs defeated the Tigresses for the first time in recent memory.
There are a lot of things to work on for Coach Franz Vicente, especially with regards to minimizing their errors — an average of 40 per game (8.9 errors per set).
2. Ateneo de Manila University
The Lady Eagles bounced back from a so-so opening by blasting University of the East Wednesday, giving the girls in Blue and White the solo lead after the first week of competitions.
Ateneo, though, needed five sets to dispose of gritty Far Eastern University last Sunday, December 2 as star spikers Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio and, especially, Fille Cainglet failed to get into a groove (a combined 19-of-74, 25.7% on attacks).
Cainglet led the rebound effort against the Lady Warriors, drilling in almost half of her spike attempts to lead the Lady Eagles against their overmatched foes.
3. University of the Philippines
The new era in Diliman is off to a great start, with the Lady Maroons dictating the pace for four of five sets in their win over UE on Sunday.
UP’s rookies were impressive, particularly Aliyah Ong, Princess Gaiser, Kathy Bersola and Hannah Mangulabnan — all of whom contributed in the team’s first victory in almost 22 months.
But the win would not be accomplished without skipper Aia del Mundo and veteran Karen del Rosario delivering when it mattered as UP survived 49 errors to pull the victory off.
4. University of Santo Tomas
The Tigresses backed up their astounding win over De La Salle by crashing back to earth against NU on Wednesday.
Looking lost and showing lackluster play on both ends, UST got dazed by the ferocious attacks of the Lady Bulldogs’ spikers.
Nevertheless, you cannot count out their victory against the Lady Spikers, when they cast out the ghosts of not beating them in almost two years.
Consistency will be the question now for the Tigresses, who will be looked at all season long as one of the primary contenders.
5. Adamson University
It wasn’t all rosy for the Lady Falcons in their opening-day triumph versus NU, as they struggled to heat up early and needed error after error by the Lady Bulldogs to chalk up the triumph.
Pau Soriano (21 points) was the lone viable offensive option for Adamson in that game, and if they are bent on barging back into the Final Four, Shiela Pineda and new acquisition Amanda Villanueva should step up and deliver the hits.
The loss of Season 74 Best Receiver Angel Vasquez has obviously affected the Lady Falcons’ once-vaunted floor defense while Mae Macatuno has yet to round out to form.
6. De La Salle University
Save for a stinker in the second set, the Lady Spikers looked actually okay in their Season 75 debut.
But okay is not enough for La Salle, which is seeking a third straight championship and seventh in the last 10 years.
Still suffering from the departure of Cha Cruz, the Lady Spikers’ offense was a bit lacking in their opening game, with Wensh Tiu (12 kills) and Ara Galang (8 kills) not making enough of a dent against UST.
7. Far Eastern University
The Lady Tams were on the verge of scoring an upset last Saturday, when they pushed Ateneo to the limits. Alas, FEU’s efforts weren’t enough as a fifth-set sputtering led to their downfall.
But the near future looks bright for the Lady Tams, who look to have some more potential to be unleashed as the season wears on.
Gyzel Sy has at her disposal a nice arsenal of offensive weapons in Rose Vargas, May Roxas, rookie Rem Palma, Wenneth Eulalio and the much-improved Winonah Bagang.
8. University of the East
From bad to worse was how the Lady Warriors have transformed from Season 74 to 75. Worst is a definite possibility, too, as no immediate solution can be seen from UE’s roster that lacks depth.
Sarina Faith Bulan has been carrying the offensive load by her lonesome and her supposed partner in attacking, Shiesa Nebrida, has disappointed so far (4 points per game).
Don’t expect a major uprising from the Lady Warriors this year, as a win or two will suffice for a UE team that is rebuilding once more. – Rappler.com