PSL Grand Prix review
- Signed up Alohi Robins Hardy, Amy Ahomiro and Bang Pineda
- Signed up Yasmeen Bedart Ghani and Tai Manu Olevao as Imports
- Lost Manu Olevao due to personal reasons for the last three games of the preliminaries
- Finished 5th after the preliminaries with a 6-8 win-loss record
- Replaced Manu Olevao with Thailand open hitter Sutadta Chuewulim
- Lost to the Cignal HD Spikers in the Quarterfinals
The youth movement is now starting on the part of United Volleyball Club. There are key losses such as Denden Lazaro, Alex Tan, Yvette Tongco, Iona Yongco and Danika Gendrauli that were replaced by Fil-Hawaiian Alohi Robins Hardy, Bang Pineda and Amy Ahomiro to team up with team captain Kalei Mau, Gyra Barroga, Arianna Angustia and Amy Ahomiro. Aside from the players, the youth movement continued in the bench as Serbian mentor Moro Branislav was replaced by young and up coming Joshua Yllaya as lead mentor of UVC.
As such, the movement continued when they enlisted the services of former University of Texas open hitter Yasmeen Bedart Ghani and former Cocolife import Tai Manu Olevao. Bedart Ghani showed true potential in her stint with UVC in terms of scoring as she scored a total of 308 points with an average of 20.5 ppg. Manu Olevao is coming back from after her stint with the same squad formerly known as the Asset Managers. She did well in her stint but…
What went wrong?
The former University of Hawaii went back home due to a family occacion and missed her flight on three different occacions. As such, the team missed her scoring punch thus making them fall two of the last three games with that making them miss out the twice to beat incentive in the quarterfinals. Good thing they made a key replacement as they signed up former EST Cola spiker Sutadta Chuewulim which was vital in their game against Cignal. Even though they lost, Chuewulim proved that if given one more chance, she can perform for UVC.
What went right?
The arrival of Robins Hardy. That was one of the missing factors the team was lacking last season. This season, the cousin of Gabe Norwood has accumulated a total of 367 excellent sets in the tournament tying her with Rhea Dimaculangan as ranked number one. With her playmaking skills, the open spikers such as Mau, Bedart Ghani and Ahomiro have benefited. Also in offense, the Fil-Hawaiian is an asset in scoring. Now, she is a part of the National Training pool. Truly, the future is bright for UVC.
Another positive is the comeback of Angustia. The former EAC Lady General is on the rise this tournament and is the enforcer of UVC. Her numbers may not be the same as Mau and Bedart Ghani, but her impact on the game is vital most especially in the net defense. As such, if she continues with this, Angustia will be the most important X-factor of UVC.
What should they do?
They need to have that finishing kick for them to finally get over the hump. They do have a strong local line-up of Mau, Robins Hardy, Pineda, Angustia and Palec to coincide with the system of Yllaya, it is just how they will get that finishing kick running for them to reach the top. Another thing they need to fix is find a third scoring option most especially that Mau and Robins Hardy are the one-two weapon of UVC. A player such as Barroga can be that player and expect a great All-filipino tournament from the former De La Salle Lady Spiker.
It will be a continuing process for Yllaya and UVC, and as the saying goes, “Trust The Process”. Sooner or later, this squad will be one of the most exciting squads in the league and this Grand Prix is the start of something great.