UAAP Volleyball

Long-term plan: DLSU remains cautious despite Angel Canino resuming spiking practice

JR Isaga

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Long-term plan: DLSU remains cautious despite Angel Canino resuming spiking practice

RETURN IMMINENT. La Salle's Angel Canino (12) joins the Lady Spikers' huddle in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Injured UAAP women's volleyball MVP Angel Canino continues to excite fans on her return with consistently encouraging updates, but champion La Salle errs on the side of caution with its title defense on the line

MANILA, Philippines – Ever since UAAP women’s volleyball MVP Angel Canino suffered a freak cut accident on her spiking arm that emotionally rocked the defending champion La Salle Lady Spikers, fans have seen encouraging updates with each passing game that the sophomore sensation sat out.

First, Canino joined her teammates and uplifted their spirits despite sporting an arm sling. The sling only lasted one game, but Canino remained confined to mere non-spiking activities in pregame warmups.

The biggest improvement for the star spiker’s status eventually came on Sunday, April 21, as she resumed full spiking drills with the rest of the Lady Spikers ahead of their rivalry match with underdog Ateneo at the Araneta Coliseum.

Although Canino still did not suit up in the eventual 25-12, 25-12, 25-18 shellacking – La Salle’s 14th straight win over Ateneo – her limited appearance in practice was enough to send fans buzzing anew on when she may actually return.

Assistant coach Noel Orcullo once again remained vague about Canino’s return, but he remained positive that it is coming soon enough.

“Her recovery progress has been great. So far, she’s been undergoing therapy,” he said in Filipino, adding that there was still no plan to deploy Canino against the Blue Eagles.

“We really hope she can return soon. If not against UST, then in the semifinals.”

After dispatching Ateneo, La Salle has no more low-stakes games left in its schedule, as the UST Golden Tigresses await next on Saturday, April 27, with the winner seizing one of the coveted Final Four twice-to-beat berths.

Whether or not Canino finally gets the green light, Orcullo is just pleased that the Lady Spikers finally found their fire without their best scoring option and fiercest on-court leader.

“Today, they played extremely well. It was so solid despite still a few lapses in the third set, but the first two sets were what we’ve been looking for from them,” he continued. “Hopefully, this continues until this Saturday for the game against UST.”

“We just keep telling them, never forget to play within the system. To have a solid game, just stay together, follow instructions, and follow the system.” –

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