MANILA, Philippines — Vange Alinsug eyes nothing but the championship for National University in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, which fires off on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The sophomore spiker, who was the representative of the Lady Bulldogs during the press conference on Monday, shared the hunger of her team to redeem themselves from last year’s heartbreaking defeat to the De La Salle Lady Spikers.
“We just want the championship. Right after Season 85, we all made it our goal to not stop until we get the championship in Season 86,” Alinsug told reporters in Filipino.
From being a rookie last season, Alinsug will embrace a bigger role together with fellow holdovers Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon, Sheena Toring, and Lams Lamina after the departure of team captain Cess Robles, Jennifer Nierva, and Joyme Cagande, who led the team to back-to-back finals appearances including a perfect title run in Season 84.
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“I will have the same role but we have to be more vocal as a team and help each other inside the court,” said Alinsug. “Expect me to contribute every game and give my 100 percent best because we need to play out every game.”
NU brought back Norman Miguel as head coach to work hand-in-hand with Karl Dimaculangan and recruited Arah Panique and Kaye Bombita from the Naga College Foundation.
The Lady Bulldogs didn’t have an overseas training but their core players represented the Philippine women’s volleyball team in the Southeast Asia VLeague last year and they swept the Shakey’s Super League preseason tournament, where La Salle didn’t participate.
“It had a huge impact on us as players and as a team because we experienced the high level of play there compared to here,” said Alinsug. “We regrouped after last season. We worked on our lapses as a team and we’re making sure that this season we will stick to our championship goal.”
Alinsug said the pressure won’t be the same compared to last season when they tried to defend the crown. But what’s clear for the Lady Bulldogs is their ultimate goal: redemption.
“We know what we want and that’s redemption. We want to bounce back,” Alinsug said.