Palaro girls volleyball quarterfinals preview
DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines -- Rappler breaks down the four quarterfinal pairings in the 2013 Palarong Pambansa girls volleyball competition.
12 PM - NCR (#1 Group A) vs Ilocos/Eastern Visayas/CAR (#2 Group 2)
NCR's opponent in the Quarterfinals is still being determined as of now because there is a triple tie among Ilocos, CAR and Eastern Visayas in Group D. However, regardless of the opponent, the Big City Belles are favored to dominate their opponent.
The good thing with NCR is that they have solid middle blockers in Ana Gopico, Kim Dy and Nika Ong and they have a lot of good wingers in skipper Desiree Cheng, Shaya Adorador, Kaka Sandoval, Monica Ortiz and the young but deadly Justine Dorog. They also have a good setter in Jewel Jai, who has been showing a tremendous performance in this year's Palaro.
With a team full of high school stars, expect NCR to dominate this match in straight sets. All three teams who are vying for the 2nd spot have smaller line-ups compared to NCR. And aside from the height and offense, experience will be a factor as they still have holdovers from last year and they have players who have been in a lot of national tournaments as well.
1 PM - Northern Mindanao (#1 Group D) vs Davao (#2 Group A)
Although still a young team, Davao has shown a lot of improvement compared to their past Palaro Pambansa stints. This year, they have two good outside hitters in Alyssa Alterado and Jela Pena and then they have a good middle in Glenda Agang. Attacking has been solid for them but hopefully, they will be able to improve communication as that has been the one lacking in the their game against NCR.
Northern Mindanao has been a surprise this season. They already showed their potential last year by making it to the quarterfinals. However, experience will still be crucial for them as Davao is the one who has an advantage in this, having been in a lot of national tournaments. Expect team captain Jellie Tempiatura and the tall Alyssa Layug to deliver the goods for this team.
Davao still has the advantage in this game but Northern Mindanao has a fair chance. For sure, the battle between these two Mindanao teams will be intense.
2 PM - Western Visayas (Group B #1) vs Central Visayas (Group C #2)
Although Western Visayas lost Gizelle Tan and Pat Rasmo, they still are a strong team this year. They have strong outside hitters in Bernadeth Pons and Arielle Estranero. They also have good middle blockers in Kim Gequillana and Rizalie Amaro. The utility Sarah Jean Gonzaga can also provide points for them.
Aside from offense, What's keeping them dominating the opponent is their nightmare floor defense and good serving. Bernadeth Pons' jump serves always make the opponents' receiving crumble while the serves of Amaro, Gequillana and Estranero are likewise heavy and hard to receive. If Febie Guliman will have better communication and setting to her teammates, this team can make it big this year.
Central Visayas has also shown a lot of promise this year. In fact, they also have hitters who can really bring the house down. This team employs a 6-2 system making Carmel Saga and Rica Jane Rivera as the setter-spikers while they have Dyan Darantinao, Mary Pacres, Cherry Rondina and Janelle Cabahug as the other hitters. Problem is, sometimes, they don't talk in the court resulting to failed receptions especially when the opponent has good serving.
Western Visayas is still favored in this game due to their good floor defense and great teamwork. Central Visayas needs to communicate and receive better if they want to keep up with last year's runner-up.
3 PM - CALABARZON (Group C #1) vs Central Luzon (Group D #2)
Before the games, people have been saying that NCR and Western Visayas are the strong teams in this year's Palaro but CALABARZON has been getting a lot of attention after dominating their opponents and even beating an also strong Central Visayas team.
The good thing with this team is that they have very good setters in Janel Maraguinot and Cherry Genova. Aside from them, the team is loaded with strong offense led by outside hitters Margarette Galanza and Heather Guino-o, middle blockers Anne Necessito and Audrey Paran as well as their utility and team captain Yen Ilustre who can hit anywhere. Their serving and blocking have been a nightmare for the opponents and they also have good communication, team work and floor defense which is why it won't be a surprise if ever they make the Final Four or even the Finals this year.
Central Luzon is a very young team. Although young, they have been showing a lot of potential. However, they have this tendency to rely too much on top player Arriane Layug. They tend to always set the balls to her, which makes them predictable on offense.
With a solid line-up, expect CALABARZON to dominate this game in straight sets. Besides, because Central Luzon's players are young, experience will be one of the advantages that CALABARZON will have in this game. - Rappler.com