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Larroza grabs chance to step up with Angel Canino out

La Salle Lady Spikers' Maicah Larroza UAAP volleyball

La Salle Lady Spikers’ Maicah Larroza in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. She is embracing the challenge of stepping up with Angel Canino injured. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Maicah Larroza is embracing the daunting challenge of trying to fill the void left by reigning MVP Angel Canino, whose return is still uncertain amid La Salle’s title defense in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.

With Canino recovering from an injury cut on her right arm sustained from an unfortunate accident “not related to volleyball,” Larroza showed next man up mentality after helping La Salle pull through a 26-24, 25-19, 24-26, 27-25 win over the University of the Philippines on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Larroza, who checked in late in the second set for starter Jyne Soreño, displayed an all-around game of 12 points, 14 digs, and 10 excellent receptions in the absence of their sophomore star.

READ: UAAP: La Salle earns tough win over UP without Angel Canino

“I will take this opportunity na mag-lead as an Ate, as a senior, as a graduating player sa team. Kailangan mag-step up ako for Angel, for everyone sa team,” said Larroza, stressing that it takes a team to fill in the big hole left by Canino.

“Kailangan ready lang lahat ng nasa labas in case lang na kung sinong ipasok, kailangang mag-deliver kami. Hindi naman yan magagawa ng isang tao lang, hindi nakadepende yung team namin sa isang tao lang. Lahat naman kayang mag-deliver and lahat naman may tiwala kami sa isa’t isa,” she added.

With the uncertainty of Canino’s return and La Salle gunning to secure a twice-to-beat advantage with five more games remaining, Larroza admitted it won’t be easy but she promised to give her all to repay the trust of their coaches.

READ: UAAP volleyball: Angel Canino has ‘matured’ in her second year, says La Salle coach

“Siguro hindi magiging madali, pero gagapangin namin ito. Hindi namin sasayangin yung tiwala sa amin ni coach kasi ang laki ng tiwala na binibigay niya sa amin. So bakit namin hindi pagtitiwalaan ang sarili namin,” she said.

La Salle Lady Spikers star Angel Canino uaap volleyball

La Salle Lady Spikers star Angel Canino is sidelined with an arm injury in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Canino cheered for La Salle despite wearing a sling in her right arm and heavily wrapped hidden under jacket, and her presence inspired Larroza and Shevana Laput to lead the way for the Lady Spikers. 

“Nag-serve yun as an inspiration sa amin. Parang kanina lahat kami, let’s do this for Angel para wala siyang masyadong isipin mamaya, ganun para mas mabilis ang pag-recover niya,” Larroza said.

La Salle, which holds an 8-1 record in solo second place, battles University of the East on Tuesday next week at Smart Araneta Coliseum with Canino still unlikely to play.

Larroza said the Lady Spikers can show more even without the rookie MVP. 

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“Meron pa kayong mga hindi nakikita, so opportunity rin ito sa iba na mapakita nila kung anong kaya nila. There’s more pa sa team namin, hindi ito yung best namin, and yung pressure kanina, mas na-fuel kami na hindi kami pwedeng magpatalo,” she said.

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