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Nursing injuries, Lady Spikers still eye top prize in Shakey's Super League

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Nursing injuries, Lady Spikers still eye top prize in Shakey's Super League
The DLSU Lady Spikers
UAAP

MANILA, Philippines — The DLSU Lady Spikers may not be in top shape ahead of the upcoming Shakey's Super League (SSL), collegiate volleyball's preseason tournament, but the UAAP powerhouse squad continues to aim high.

As a number of players continue to hurt from injuries they sustained from the last UAAP season earlier this year, where they finished second to the NU Lady Bulldogs, DLSU coach Noel Orcullo said they still have the same mindset.

"Isang goal yun, para ma-expose [sa laro] pero hindi naman tayi nagt-training para second, oa no. May goal pa rin. Kung nandyan na, pipilitin natin makapasok," Orcullo told media during the SSL pre-tournament press conference last Saturday.

Orcullo shared his team's goals despite the SSL not being in their initial plans for the offseason.

But with all other NCAA and UAAP teams seeing action in the tiff, they decided it was best to not fall behind in preparations for UAAP Season 85.

"Actually, hindi kami ready talaga sumali kaya lang, yun nga... Parang mapapahiya nga kung kami lang yung hindi sasali," he said.

"Napilitan kami na fill in, na i-fill in yung whole team. Actually, kung talagang sasali kami yun ngang second team namin yung sasali [but] since eto na nga nangyari, kaya full team yung sasali," Orcullo added.

Orcullo will oversee the team in the preseason tournament as head coach Ramil de Jesus' long-time deputy.

Though their health will surely affect the team's performance, Orcullo remains optimistic for the Taft-based squad's chances.

"Although some of [the players] are recovering from injuries from the last UAAP season so expect na hindi talaga kami all out na makakalaro ng inaasahan sa amin. [But] hopefully maging maganda naman yung resulta," he said.

In the SSL, La Salle competes in Pool D where they are joined by Benilde, Letran and FEU. The Lady Spikers need to finish in the top two of their group to move on to the next round.

DLSU plays FEU in their opening match on October 1. All SSL matches will be played at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

The preseason tiff begins on September 24, Saturday, with a quadruple-header. UE plays Mapua in the opening game while San Beda clashes with the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in Match no. 2.

Benilde locks horns with FEU in the penultimate match at 4 p.m. while Adamson faces the UST Golden Tigresses to close the opener at 6 p.m.

EJ OBIENA

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