Needless to say, Angel Canino is delivering on all the promised hype with her De La Salle University debut in UAAP Season 85.
The men’s basketball tournament of UAAP Season 85 had a climactic end as Ateneo clawed back their championship trophy from their Katipunan neighbors, UP, in December 2022. It’s now volleyball’s turn to get the collegiate sports world talking this year as Season 85 of the women’s and men’s volleyball tournaments recently began on the final weekend of February.
With just the first games in the can, we already have our eye on a new generation of volleyball stars, as well as some returning favorites this season. These girls served, literally and figuratively, with the way they got Season 85 to start strong. Here’s a rundown of the opening weekend as well as the names to watch out for.
NU VS ATENEO
NU enter this season as defending champions, and so far, they’ve been living up to their name as they defeated Ateneo to a 25-15, 25-20, and 25-16. With the victory, the Lady Bulldogs extend their winning streak to a remarkable 19 wins. Alyssa Solomon was the top scorer of NU with 12 points followed by Cess Robles with 11. Lams Lamina and reigning MVP Bella Belen also delivered impressive showcases in their match against the Blue Eagles.
With that being said, the girls in blue still gave a strong showing with Alex Miner, Faith Nisperos, and Vannie Gandler coming through for the team. However, it wasn’t enough to overcome NU. And on a side note, David Licauco sent hearts racing last Saturday as he showed up to support his two younger siblings, Jean and James Licauco, who are part of the women’s and men’s Ateneo volleyball teams respectively. Both, however, lost their games.
ADAMSON VS UE
UE fans needed to look away from the team’s match against Adamson as the Lady Falcons pretty much washed them. Adamson decimated UE to a resounding 25-19, 25-9, and 25-5 with Lucille Almonte leading the way with 12 points and rookie Trisha Tubu making an impressive debut by bagging 11 points. It was an impressive showing for Adamson, especially now that they are under their new coach, Jerry Yee. UE did make history at the game, but one that they may not want to brag about. The team entered the UAAP history books as the second-worst gap in women’s volleyball in the organization’s history. There’s always next time though.
FEU VS UP
The Lady Tamaraws hadn’t had a win since May 10, 2022. And that streak was finally broken when they won against UP to a score of 25-16, 23-25, 25-17, and 26-24. While FEU did slip up to UP during the second set, they made sure that their losing streak wouldn’t continue as they rallied during the third and fourth sets. Jovelyn Fernandez reigned on top with 18 points, followed by Chenie Tagaod with 13 points. For the girls in maroon, Alyssa Bertolano lead her team with 14 points, and Nina Ytang wasn’t far behind with 13 points. Jewel Encarnacion and Stephanie Bustrillo, meanwhile, scored 12 points each.
LA SALLE VS UST
If there was one game that got everyone talking during the opening weekend of UAAP Season 85 Women’s Volleyball, it was the match between the Lady Spikers and Golden Tigresses. And the one name that was on everyone’s lips was Angel Canino. The 19-year-old athlete had immense hype heading into her first game in the senior’s division, and she did not disappoint. The nearly 7000-strong crowd at MOA Arena was treated to an intense five-set match as La Salle came out on top with a 25-20, 16-25, 25-8, 25-15, and 16-14 win.
Leading the way for the Lady Spiker was Canino, who scored an impressive 18 points, 16 attacks, 1 block, and 1 ace. Even the phenom herself, Alyssa Valdez had to stan. It’s a win even more impressive considering that, after nearly three decades, long-time coach Ramil de Jesus no longer leads La Salle with Noel Orcullo serving as interim head coach.
UST was no slouch though as volleyball star Eya Laure delivered a team and game-high of 19 points. Milena Alessandrini, who returned to the court following a three-year rehabilitation from an ACL injury, proved that she didn’t lose her touch with 10 points for the Golden Tigresses. The night though undoubtedly belonged to Angel Canino. We can’t wait to see what else this young prodigy has to offer.
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