MANILA, Philippines — Despite their successful stint with the Philippine women’s volleyball team, Erin Pangilinan and the National University Lady Bulldogs are not resting on their laurels as they defend their crown in the Shakey’s Preseason Championship Super League (SSL).
The NU core, represented by MVPs Alyssa Solomon and Bella Belen as well as setters Lams Lamina and Pangilinan, represented the country in both rounds of the Southeast Asian (SEA) VLeague, where they are found without a victory in six matches.
They also finished 13th at the 14-team Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, two weeks ago.
“We learned a lot individually and as a team. We will bring these learnings to our games. We are also happy to experience the international level,” team captain Pangilinan told reporters in Filipino. “We also found that we are still far from the level we want to reach and the position we want to establish.”
After three international tournaments, Pangilinan admitted that the team is still adjusting to the new system of coach Norman Miguel, who returned to NU to help Karl Dimaculangan on the sidelines, and started life without his seniors Cess Robles, Jennifer Nierva and Joyme Cagande.
“We’re still adjusting to the things we’re still missing. Our time in the national team set a benchmark for our team. We also need to fine-tune our new system under the leadership of Coach Norman,” Pangilinan said.
NU, which won the first SSL preseason tournament capped with a decisive victory over La Salle last year, will open its campaign Sept. 23 against University of the East, led by freshman Casiey Dongallo, the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Invitational League (GVIL). ) California Academy MVP.
“I think this match will be very exciting for everyone because EU is making a new name for themselves in the UAAP and they are doing very well based on the way they play and their performance,” Pangilinan said. “For us in Nunavut, we want to show them what we learned from the national team and what we can do as a team.
The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to play in Pool A with NCAA teams San Sebastian College and Jose Rizal University.
Pangilinan, for his part, is also taking on a larger role as skipper and leading NU’s frontline as Sheena Toring continues to recover.
“Being a leader is already part of my character. Being team captain this year is nothing new for me. It’s just us making a fresh start as a team,” Pangilinan said. “Sheena is not alone on the road to recovery. The team is behind her. We support it and we will wait for it. She is doing very well and has participated in scrimmages and is already doing advanced drills.
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