Originally posted by Gil Tan at the Philippine Volleyball Central Facebook group
First, let me start off by saying how a lot of teams have stepped up their game. By now, you guys know a lot about how the other UAAP teams have trained and gained exposure. Some played in the PVL, some played in the PSL, others played in both leagues, a number of UAAP teams trained abroad, some teams chose to train in Baguio City, and so on.
From what I’ve been reading through Philippine Volleyball Central (PVC), many predictions count the DLSU Lady Spikers out of Final 4 contention because of the graduation of the likes of Dy, Baron, and Macandili, as well as the departure of Yan Layug and Gyra Barroga from the Lady Spikers’ pool.
Let’s take a look back at the outlook of fans in the past few UAAP seasons before the UAAP WVT even began:
UAAP Season 78 – The DLSU Lady Spikers defeated the Ateneo Lady Eagles. Five Lady Spikers exhausted their UAAP playing eligibility that season (Galang, Reyes, Demecillo, Cerveza, and Esperanza).
UAAP Season 79 – After Kim Fajardo finally said yes to lead a young La Salle team for a back-to-back bid, people still counted the Lady Spikers out of Final 4 contention thinking that a Galang and Reyes-less Lady Spikers team would be easier to handle. They were proven wrong and DLSU completed it’s back-to-back bid.
UAAP Season 80 – With a Fajardo-less team who exhausted all her UAAP playing years, people once again (and more so) counted the Lady Spikers out of Final 4 contention. It was a Dy, Baron, and Macandili-led team whose offense was orchestrated by a then-still relatively young setter. They completed their bid for their 10th straight Finals appearance and 3rd 3-peat.
UAAP Season 81 – With a Dy, Baron, and Macandili-less team who, like the other Lady Spikers before them, exhausted their UAAP playing eligibility, how will the DLSU Lady Spikers fare this coming UAAP WVT?
You’re talking about a team that has made it to the UAAP WVT Finals 10 straight times and in this UAAP Season 81, they will be marching forward in their bid for an 11th straight Finals appearance and a rare 4-peat that no team has achieved in the Final 4 era.
You’re talking about a team that does not label itself in a “rebuilding phase” regardless of the players in the roster. You’re talking about the most successful UAAP Women’s Volleyball Team under the most successful UAAP Women’s Volleyball head coach in the Final Four era. If anything, that is what you would call RESILIENT and ENDURING.
The DLSU Lady Spikers-patented preparation is: 1) a closed door training (off limits to the media), 2) no “insider” confirmation until the management or the UAAP actually releases their official lineup, 3) tune-up matches with Men’s Volleyball Teams, and 4) silence from the players themselves on what the team is up to.
Their silence isn’t an indication of their lack of preparation. It’s an indication of their focus in their bid to achieve a rare 4-peat in UAAP Women’s Volleyball.