UAAP and NCAA schools search for recruits in Palaro
LAGUNA, Philippines – It's not a surprise to see university coaches and scouts storm the 2014 Palarong Pambansa to look for the best athletes to add to their squads.
Rappler spotted a couple of National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and University Athletics Association (UAAP) member schools who joined the hunt for potential volleyball players.
Some of them are San Sebastian Stags mentor Roger Gorayeb, UP’s volleyball coach Rodrigo Palmera and 8-time champion coach of the De La Salle University Lady Spikers Ramil de Jesus.
According to these coaches, having a Palaro stint under an athlete’s belt is a huge advantage from other student players since competing in the largest sporting event in the archipelago gives them an experience that comes very handy when they advance to the college ranks. This is the very reason why universities and colleges kill for the attention of these athletically exceptional kids.
It is no secret how hard schools compete with each other in college recruitments just to make sure their teams stay sturdy whenever they lose players to graduation.
Most of the time, young athletes choose whoever has the best offer.
“Sobrang hirap makipagsabayan kasi alam naman nating lahat na UP is a government school. Ang offer ay scholarship lang at dorm. Pero dun sa iba, gumagapang diyan ay pera na,” shared UP Maroons Coach Rodrigo Palmera on how the University of the Philippines (UP) struggles on recruitment.
(It is very difficult for us to catch up because we all know that UP is a government school and all we can offer is a scholarship and a free dormitory space. With other teams, money becomes the main factor.)
True enough, the UP Fighting Maroons have been cellar dwellers in main events in the UAAP such as the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball tournaments.
One of the major reasons is the lack of ace players who are normally snatched away by other schools who have better proposals.
The newly hired coach admits his team is in need of stronger reinforcement for them to be capable of a final four bid.
He added that although it is very difficult to get the best players to sign for his team, he would do everything to push his selling point to them.
“Napaka daming kabataan ang nangangarap maka-graduate sa UP. Kaya para sa akin, ang pinaka mabigat na maibibigay ng UP ay title. Iba parin ‘pag ang diploma mo ay galing ng UP,” Palmera said.
(A lot of young people dream to graduate from UP. That’s why for me, the best thing UP could offer is a title. UP education is still different.)
This coming Season 76, the former Emilio Aguinaldo College volleyball mentor said he needs to fill in some spots that his graduating players would leave open. Setters and middle blockers are at his sight.
Experienced Palaro athletes = exceptional college rookies
One of the rookies in UAAP volleyball that mattered for La Salle in keeping a clean record in the eliminations only to lose in the finals to Ateneo De Manila University, is Desiree Cheng who freshly came from 2013 Palarong Pambansa in Dumaguete City.
Although a freshman, Cheng quickly became one of the starters early in last season’s tournament. Coach Ramil de Jesus thinks that her Palaro experience is one of the reasons why the spiker delivered well for the Taft-based squad.
“Desiree has been a big help for the team. She’s a very dependable player,” he said.
de Jesus, who visited the men’s volleyball event Tuesday, May 6, to support De La Salle University Lipa added that DLSU already had an arrangement with Cheng’s parents even before last year’s staging of the Palaro ended. – Rappler.com