UAAP Volleyball

Awestruck Dongallo continues learning curve after hard-hitting Canino matchup

JR Isaga

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Awestruck Dongallo continues learning curve after hard-hitting Canino matchup

YOUNG STARS. UE spiker Casiey Dongallo and La Salle spiker Angel Canino in action in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

UAAP league-leading scorer and super rookie Casiey Dongallo lives up to the hype anew in her first matchup with young La Salle MVP Angel Canino, as reeling UE continues its season of learning

MANILA, Philippines – Although the UE Lady Warriors have taken massive leaps so far in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, the growing pains are still clear to see, especially after their first matchup against the league’s true litmus test, the defending champion La Salle Lady Spikers.

Billed as a thrilling matchup between two young super scorers, UE rookie Casiey Dongallo and La Salle’s sophomore MVP Angel Canino, the Lady Spikers brushed off an error-prone start and showed their true power in the third set, eventually completing a 25-21, 25-18, 25-10 blowout on Wednesday, March 6.

Still, the individual matchup did not disappoint, as Canino dominated the stat sheet with 17 points, 9 excellent digs, and 7 excellent receptions, while Dongallo still shone in a hasty conversion to middle blocker with 15 points on 12 attacks and 3 rejections.

Canino, who powered through minor sickness in the win, had nothing but glowing praises for the person intent on taking her former distinction as the UAAP’s top rookie sensation.

“It’s fun to finally see how she plays,” she said in Filipino of Dongallo, who averaged a staggering, league-leading 26.0 points per game prior to facing La Salle.

“Actually, I’m really happy to have finally faced her in a game.”

Dongallo, practically left speechless when asked about their individual matchup, was likewise filled with awe after competing in what she previously described as a “dream” battle.

“Playing against her, Ate Angel is just so skilled. She’s great. What else can I say?” she said in between laughs, turning to assistant coach Dr. Obet Vital for help in expounding her answer.

“When I was able to receive some of her attacks, Krizzie [Madriaga] told me, ‘She hits so hard,'” Dongallo continued. “Every hit she had, it seemed like we really had a hard time receiving it. There were a lot of points.”

With UE now reeling with its fourth straight loss after a winning start to the season, Dongallo remains focused on learning every game from the league’s top teams and stars like Canino, as every win the once-forgettable Lady Warriors get is a sure step in the right direction.

“La Salle is the standard in [UAAP] volleyball, so the lesson we learned in this game is that we really improved in the new system. There is progress,” Dongallo continued.

“We just have to continue what we’re doing and do more with whatever we’re doing right.”

Win or lose, the valuable lessons will definitely continue to come for UE as it next faces another tough team in perennial finalist NU Lady Bulldogs on Sunday, March 10, 2 pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena. –

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