Axel Book’s inspired performance in Sta. Rosa’s recent Spikers’ Turf Open Conference match is a testament to the team’s growth and development. The Lions, who are out of playoff contention, defeated National University-Archipelago Builders in a tight straight sets win, with Book leading the way with 13 points.
Book’s performance was built on 12 attacks, nine excellent receptions, and six excellent digs, which helped secure the team’s 26-24, 26-24, 25-22 victory over the Volley Builders at the Paco Arena.
The 20-year-old native of Misamis Oriental admitted that their loss against Iloilo, which saw them waste an early 2-0 advantage, last March 3 played a huge factor in their impressive performance against NU. Book said that the experience of losing after having an early lead motivated them to work harder and push themselves to achieve more.
“About po sa performance namin is parang pantay-pantay naman po kami, and parang nasa isip po talaga namin is gagalingan po namin 'to,” added Book.
Despite being out of playoff contention, Book emphasized the importance of finishing strong and working on the team’s communication. The Lions’ lineup consists of players from different provinces, making it challenging for them to build cohesion and communication during training.
“Kaya ayun communication talaga at tiyaka connection sa isa't isa,” said Book.
The Sta. Rosa team is currently standing at 4-5, a significant improvement from their first foray in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference last year, where they only scored a win in five games. Book believes that the team's experience in the tournament will be valuable in future competitions.
“Parang masasabi ko lang dun is gagawa lang kami ng paraan na pag itong laro is para na sa next game namin, sa next tournament na sasalihan namin – parang gawin lang namin experience 'yun and pagkatalo namin dito [sa Spikers Turf] lahat hindi makapasok sa final four.”
Book’s outstanding performance and the Lions’ growth as a team are proof of their dedication and hard work. As they continue to strive for excellence, Sta. Rosa’s volleyball team is undoubtedly one to watch out for in future competitions.