Davao misses the tandem of Diolan and Almonte

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By Romy Sabaldan

Davao Beat

Sunday, March 2, 2014


RICA Diolan is an exceptional athlete.

After accepting the offer of NU early in high school, Diolan takes the same route as serious volleyball players have taken in their all important and exciting roles as setters. Roles that have made champions out of humble but talented players as Rubie de Leon, Rhea Dimaculangan , Tina Salak and most recently Ivy Perez of NU, Bea Tan of Ateneo and the unpredictable Kim Fajardo of the DLSU.

Davao City's Mindanao championship in all major tournaments last year was attributed primarily to this precision setter. Diolan was the one consistently feeding excellent sets to Davao spikers led by former team captain Eden Faith Almonte, who is now playing for the Technological Institute of the Philippines in Makati. Diolan, one of the youngest recruits from Davao is now playing with the National University high school volleyball team.

Of all eight athletes from Davao recruited by prestigious Manila universities to reinforce their respective campaigns in both high school and college volleyball, National University took the most number at five from Davao City namely: Diolan and Faith Janine Shirley Mallonga Nisperos for high school volleyball, Jam Salazar, Glenda Gregg Agang and Arriana Dequito for college volleyball. Vina Vera Alinas went to the state-owned University of the Philippines while Almonte and Faye Sarmiento don the jersies as spiker and Libero respectively of the Technological Institute of the Philippines - TIP Engineers of Makati.

Meanwhile, volleyball fans nationwide set their focus again starting this Wednesday on the UAAP Season 76 finals. In men's volleyball, defending champion National University owns the momentum of gaining the championship for the second time after beating Ateneo in Game 1 of their Best of Three Series last Saturday. NU's women volleyball team was not as lucky as the Ateneo Lady Eagles repeated the same strategy to defeat the tallest team of the current season. The Lady Eagles go to the finals in an uphill climb with the Lady Bulldogs squandering their twice-to-beat advantage as the second-seeded team of Season 76.

The doubleheader also features Game 1 between the defending champion DLSU Lady Spikers and the Ateneo Lady Eagles on the same venue at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Ateneo Lady Spikers will rely mostly on the highly motivated and resilient teamwork of Alyssa Valdez, Ella de Jesus, Aeriel Patnongon and Amy Ahomiro.

The players to watch on the side of the quadruple seeking championship title DLSU Lady Spikers are team captain Aby Maraño, former rookie of the year Ara Galang, former Palaro MVP Desiree Cheng and the unstoppable Mika Reyes.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 03, 2014.

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