The San Juan Arena
August 23, 2013
On this one lazy, sleep-induced afternoon, the day when Tropical Depression “Maring” left the country after days of devastation, sportswriters, including Sportsmaryosep, went on with their lives writing and covering sports. In this particular case, it’s the Shakey’s V-League Open.
After just an hour and three mintues, Smart emerged from the ashes with a “Maring”-like 25-14, 25-15, 25-17 inundating of the Philippine National Police to seize the solo lead with a 2-0 (win-loss) record this early in the tournament. What’s so special about this win is that the Lady Texters, coined by hardworking People’s Journal scribe Theodore Jurado, played with only eight players.
They’re actually nine but collegiate superstar Alyssa Valdez has yet to suit up due to her commitment to play for Ateneo in the soon-to-start Season 76 UAAP beach volley tournament at the University of the East-Caloocan artificial sandcourts. You see, the popular Valdez will only get to see action after that tournament, which could probably end middle of September.
So Smart is playing with only eight, leading me to call them the Super Eight.
On this game, it was grizzled veteran Sue Roces who stepped up in delivering an impressive, all-around effort of 21 hits, 15 coming off attacks, five on service aces and one block. That’s Super Eight’s No. 1.
No. 2 is Gretchel Soltones. The youngest in the Roger Gorayeb-mentored bunch at 17 years old who is playing his second season with San Sebastian in the 89th NCAA volleyball tournament. She machine-gunned her way to 13 hits including 11 on spikes, leaving the Lady PATROLers, sprawled on the sidewalk.
Charo Soriano is No. 3. The pretty former Ateneo Queen Eagle. And the V-League’s youngest champion coach after steering the Loyola-based Lady Spikers to a championship a few seasons ago. Seven hits were his stats on this day. Shot gun stats to tell you the truth.
Nica Guliman is No. 4. She’s from Lyceum. She delivered eight scud missiles via air mail.
Nos. 5 and 6 are Ruby de Leon and Jem Ferrer, two of the country’s best setters. Former rivals after the former willed National U to an epic finals win over Ferrer’s Ateneo squad last conference. And now they’ve joined forces with de Leon starting and Ferrer finished. It’s like Chris Paul and Steve Nash have joined forces.
Lucky Seven is Maruja Banaticla. University of Santo Tomas standout. Spiker par excellence.
Last but not least is Melissa Gohing at No. 8. Libero is her game. If going for seemingly unreachable digs is cute, then she typifies cuteness.
So that’s it.
Meet the Shakey’s V-League’s Super Eight.
Wait until No. 9 arrives.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
Here’s the revised V-League sked: