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Phillips crosses over to volleyball

De La Salle University big man Ben Phillips gets another shot at bringing the green and white to a podium finish in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 albeit on a different battlefront.

Falling short of entering the men’s basketball Final Four with the Green Archers, the 6-foot-8 Phillips will now try his luck on the taraflex floor in the second semester centerpiece sports men’s volleyball slated to begin late February.

“Final Four is the direct goal for both sports. I want to help out my fellow Green Spikers in any way that I can to get us to a podium finish and a chance to compete at a high level,” Phillips said.

The arrival of Phillips, who played center for La Salle’s cage team, would strengthen the frontline of head coach Armold Laniog as he adds another towering and intimidating presence to man the net.

Phillips will play middle blocker in his first competitive volleyball tournament since suiting up for Fairfield High School volleyball team in Fairfield, Ohio.

“My position is middle blocker and I love my volleyball teammates. They have been super helpful in training me, guiding me on how to structure my fundamentals, and just overall support of coming to another sport,” he said.

“The last time I played organized competitive volleyball was in high school back in 2017, so I have a lot of rust to shake off, but I’m slowly improving everyday with my teammates help and a world class coaching staff,” Phillips added.

Playing multiple sports is nothing new to Phillips.

“Well, when I’m in high school in the US, I’m a dual sport athlete. Really, it’s about getting my body in the best shape that I can for basketball, and volleyball is a perfect cross training. My jumping has improved, my footwork, my explosiveness, lateral quickness, these things that are inherent in both sports are enhanced in both individual training,” he said.

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