MANILA, Philippines – Intense training and discipline are what allowed the De La Salle Lady Spikers to rule the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament for the past three years, and these are also the keys for the continued dominance of their program.
The Lady Spikers, winners of the past three UAAP women’s volleyball titles, believe they can get to an even higher level in the next season by increasing the intensity of their training.
“Every year kasi, ito ‘yung level namin. So ngayon na nag-champion na kami, then sa susunod na taon, sa susunod na season, tayo ‘yung hahabulin ng mga teams,” explained assistant coach Noel Orcullo in an interview on ANC’s “Hardball” last week.
“Sa level natin ngayon, kumbaga, itaas pa natin,” he added.
Orcullo said the secret to the success of the program lies in their training.
“Tiyaga lang sa training,” he said. “Hindi kami tumitigil eh. Hangga’t may nakikita kaming mali sa players namin, kino-correct namion hanggang unti-unting ma-perfect.”
Discipline is also a key factor, according to UAAP Season 75 Finals Most Valuable Player Michele Gumabao.
“Coach’s system is really about discipline. If you want to succeed in being a La Sallian volleyball player, you have to be discipined,” Gumabao said in an interview with Boy Abunda.
“Every day, in the morning, we train for three hours or more. Sometimes, we train twice a day if it’s needed,” she added.
Gumabao said they learn to be disciplined not just as athletes but also as persons.
“Discipline can spread even to what we eat, or how we behave, or what time we sleep. It covers even your personal life,” she said.
Two players who are reaping the benefits of La Salle’s intense training program are sophomores Ara Galang and Mika Reyes. Galang, the Season 74 Rookie of the Year, was named Most Valuable Player this season along with team captain Aby Maraño.
Reyes, meanwhile, was the most dominant player in La Salle’s finals series against the Ateneo Lady Eagles, as she took advantage of her height to score easily from the middle.
“Sobrang laki ng in-improve,” Orcullo said of Galang. “Given na talent na rin, tapos, na-enhance sa training.”
Reyes, for her part, said she did not play sports as a high school student but is now one of the core members of the Lady Spikers.
“Dahil na rin sa training nila coach, eto na ‘yung result,” she said. “I’m looking froward na mas madami pang years na makukuha namin.”
Because of La Salle’s solid training program, Gumabao believes the Lady Spikers will still be a team to be reckoned with next year even as some of their core players are graduating.
“The system of our coach is really still the same, our training program is still the same, so the development of our players will still be the same,” she said.