The captain is back.
After missing the collegiate wars last year due to a torn ACL, La Salle skipper Raymark Woo announced his return by scorching hot with 19 points in his team’s 25-18, 28-26, 26-24 victorry over UE.
The Green Spikers’ debut in the UAAP Season 78 men’s volleyball tournament was a success as they fended off the pesky Red Warriors Wednesday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
“He had 19 points?” said La Salle coach Ronald Dulay during the post-game interview, looking surprised with the team captain’s hot start.
“Raymark already recovered fully after a year from suffering from an injury. Even during the Unigames he was already doing well,” he added. “We actually told him to not force things because he just returned. We can expect him to do better in the next few games.”
Despite the advise to take things slow, Woo did not hold back as he punished the UE defense both from the front and the back line.
Two other spikers from Taft in Arjay Onia and Ralph Calasin scored in double digits as they finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
“Woo is very determined. He really wanted to make a comeback in the UAAP. He prepared for it,” the mentor told the press. “When he got injured he really felt bad. He wouldn’t even watch our games. Now that he is back, he told us he will go all-out for the team.”
The dominating performance, however, did not go unchallenged with the Red Warriors staging a rally in the second and third frames as if waking up from the lull after Samuel Lelic went down due to an injured left ankle.
UE eventually succumbed to La Salle’s offense which was impressive with a 40.48 % success rate in the spiking department.
On allowing UE to come within striking distance, Dulay says, “Actually, even during the first set we already are having a slow start. The coaches keep reminding the boys to step on the gas. I guess it’s just first game jitters.”
“So far, after getting our first win, I saw that there are still a lot of things we have to adjust to,” he added. “We saw the level of play of the opponents and it’s high that’s why we need to keep up with them.”
Though it is still a good start for the Green Spikers, Dulay was careful to not look too far ahead as he closed by saying, “We just want to make it to the top four, for now. When we reach that, we’ll see from there.” — By Mac Dionisio