As expected, La Salle romped through the field (14-0). The Lady Spikers are comfortably waiting who their finals foe will be in the second stepladder format since Season 74.
Honestly, I think it's a farce. I believe that any time a team sweeps the two elimination rounds they should automatically be given the championship. The more games they play the bigger the chance to lose. The team with the best record should be rewarded -- not be given a chance to lose. Nevertheless, I don't see them losing. They just dropped two sets all season long.
Honestly, what drives the Lady Spikers is the determination and leadership of Abi Maraño. That girl's focus is incredible. I sure am glad I got to know her and work with her as she is one of my two Gatorade brand ambassadors from La Salle. Even watching her from the sidelines, she is their leader. They follow her lead. Good job, girl.
So Adamson and FEU, both with a pedestrian 6-8 record will play in a knockout game to play third placer Ateneo (10-4, with two losses each to La Salle and National University or NU). The winner of that faces NU (12-2, with the two losses coming at the hands of the Lady Spikers). Then the winner goes on to play La Salle. Talk about going through the meat grinder.
I thought that this year, NU would really give La Salle a run for its money since they aren't as overpowering (that sounds weird, right) as last season but no. They have the height. They have the weapons. But kulang pa. Shame that Rubie de Leon cannot suit up anymore as their setter (beside she did once upon a time for UST).
Is Alyssa Valdez going to be named league MVP? She deserves it. Unless the board does some hanky panky again.
Ateneo finished right where I expected them to be in a somewhat depowered league. It’s kind of disappointing to see some of their vets underperform at the net. Ateneo should place a premium on defense if they want to snatch that crown away from La Salle. Furthermore, they need to add better pieces to the puzzle because a talent like Valdez only comes once in a blue moon to Loyola Heights.
NU's Dindin Santiago finished the elims as the Best Spiker. Katherine Bersola of UP finished as the Best Blocker. Valdez was the Best Server, while Ateneo teammate Denden Lazaro was the Best Digger and Best Receiver. La Salle's Kim Fajardo finished the double round robin elims as the Best Setter.
Now let's see if we will have an exciting finals as opposed to an anti-climactic one.
On another note, bravo to the Ateneo men's volleyball team. They finished far better than anyone expected. Second to NU in the standings after two rounds. Good job, Oliver Almadro! Welcome back to Loyola Heights.