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For meantime, it’s back to basic for 3-peat-seeking Altas

By Waylon Galvez



University of Perpetual Help Dalta players celebrate after completing a 9-game of the elims in the NCAA men’s volleyball competition Thursday at The Arena in San Juan City. With their 25-14, 25-15, 25-18 demolition of the Letran Knights, the Altas advanced outright to the finals. (Courtesy of Dennis Abrina)

University of Perpetual Help Dalta players celebrate after completing a 9-game sweep of the elims.  (Courtesy of Dennis Abrina)

University of Perpetual Help System DALTA mentor Sammy Acaylar was at his usual element as the Altas try to finish their drills during a practice session at the school’s gym in Las Pinas City.

For now, all they can do is train and prepare for the Finals.

The team earned automatic slot in the best-of-three championship series after sweeping the elimination round with a 9-0 record but has since been on training as the league’s Management Committee halted all games due to the Novel Coronavirus or Covid-19 last Feb. 13.

“Back to basic with our training, from physical conditioning and strengthening,” Acaylar said.

The league, through its MANCOM chaired by Peter Cayco of Arellano University, is eyeing a March 16 target for the resumption of all the games including volleyball to be approved this week by the Policy Board.

Regardless, the Altas – according to Acaylar – have been following a program he arranged knowing that not doing anything or by just practicing alone would affect their performance come the finals series.

“Actually nag-worry din ako kasi mahaba yung suspension, pero dahil nga may programa akong ginawa, tingin ko magiging in game shape pa din ang team maski na matagal walang games. Ang mahirap yunbg matengga kami ng matagal,” said Acaylar.

The team will face the winner in the stepladder playoffs, which will either be the Arellano University Chiefs, Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals or the College of St. Benilde Blazers, in a three-game showdown.

As part of the program during the league break, Acaylar said the Altas would be battling teams from the collegiate and pro ranks.

Starting this weekend, they will face the Tamaraws of Far Eastern University, followed by an encounter against the Navy, and then the CIGNAL TV Spikers, and then the Falcons of Adamson University.

Under the veteran mentor, the Altas are hoping to add the 2020 title to their championships in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Leading the Altas this season isteam captain Ronniel ‘Buro’ Rosales, as well as leading MVP contender Loiue Ramirez, with Kennry Malinis, Hero Austria, ace setter EJ Casaña, liberos Jeric Atentar and Philip Pepito and back-ups JC Enarciso, Ridzuan Muhali, KC Andrade, JR Baggayan, Aljoe Sereño Awie Abdulla and Joshua Zereño.