Friday, December 04, 2009

Crouching Tigress Wounded Falcon

University of Santo Tomas Versus Adamson University.
Finals. Game 1
Photos from a good man Joey Villaluz.

Both coaches are confident. It was a roller coaster ride for Adamson before they landed in the court fighting for the finals. Drums beating from both schools giving more intensity to the game. Adamson scored first yet Maiza (Aiza+Maizo) hit things up by her solid blocks, showing off why she was the best blocker last conference. Angela Benting, the team captain of the flying ladies continues to amaze me with her superb high leaps equating to UST’s height advantage. Side note: Angela or gela, the pride of Bacolod is a record setter, having 37 point in a game. Call her human?! Back to UST Maruja “Maru” Banaticla, 16 year old rookie is playing like a veteran with a 67% attack percentage making her as one of the tigress’ scoring machines. Seeing her play, I know she’ll be one of the future Philippine Volleyball Superstars. Maizo plus crowd favorite Ma. Angeli Tabaquero continue to slash falcon’s wings through their blocks and power spikes earning 3 and 17 points respectively compared to Adamson’s 1 and 10. Set One ended by 25-15 for UST.

Adamson waddly started this set while both team captains seem to have bad hair day. Turing things around, it's Adamson’s veteran Jill Gustillo and beginner acting like a veteran Pau Soriano creating damage to UST’s offense by building a wall on top of the net saying, “no balls from tigers allowed” Indeed, both are successful as Benting gradually getting her groove back on the later half with her “off the block” intelligent attacks. Another falcon soaring high, fresh from the bench Hiponia, the serve specialist scored 3 straight aces. Although Roxanne Pimentel, famously called as "ate Rox" tried to stop falcons through her blocks and famous running attacks it wasn’t enough, Adamson owned the second set 19-25

A rumble on the 3rd set! Maiza, still not on her element, getting frustrated seeing her team playing the game of Adamson. Meantime Maru is back in the game replacing Judy Ann Caballejo and tall setter Rhea Dimaculangan successfully and consecutively denying Angela Benting scoring some points, In the end it’s the 34 year old Philippine Volleyball National Hero Roxanne Pimentel scores the set point 22-25, UST.

Although you can see in the photo that it’s a skirmish against San Sebastian, focus your attention to the triple-man block. Not one, not two but there tall ladies with Pimentel, standing 6’1 in the middle also called as the GREAT WALL OF UST. This is an effective strategy on stopping Benting's sharp spikes. On the other side of the coin, it is Pau Soriano, blocking the UST superstarts, Aiza Maizo and Rox Pimentel. An 8-0 run in favor to the Falcons, started when Benting set foot on the serving area. Another turn around of the table when Pimentel blocked Soriano and unintentionally hit her on her face. (That’s what we call, “In you face”). UST back on the game with Dmac having applying combination attacks making good use of her attackers. Game 1 goes to UST!