La Salle's Aby Marano (2nd from left) gestures to Mika Reyes (3) after the latter scored against Ateneo. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The defending champions De La Salle Lady Spikers refused to look too far ahead even after their winning streak in UAAP volleyball reached 24 games with a three-set demolition of archrivals Ateneo de Manila last Sunday.
La Salle has won all eight of their assignments in the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball and has yet to drop a set the entire season.
Yet the Lady Spikers refused to let the winning streak get to their heads, preferring instead to focus only on the game that’s in front of them.
“Sa akin, wala, hindi ko na iniisip ‘yung wala pa kaming talo,” said Ara Galang after La Salle swept Ateneo, 25-14, 25-14 and 25-19, on Sunday. “Basta iniisip lang namin na one game at a time lang kami.”
“Kung sino lang ‘yung kalaban namin, sila lang muna ‘yung iniisip namin,” she added.
Team captain Abi Maraño agreed. “Ang mindset ko talaga, one game at a time. Of course, kung ano ‘yung pinag-aralan namin against the opponent, ‘yun lang talaga ‘yung nasa isip ko,” she said.
The Lady Spikers' winning streak began in the second game of the UAAP Season 75 women’s volleyball tournament. They lost to the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses in their first game last season, but have been unscathed since.
“Alam naman namin,” Galang said of the streak. “Pero hindi na lang namin masyado iniisip, para hindi rin kami ma-pressure.”
Maraño said it takes great discipline for them to remain focused on the task at hand and not be distracted by thoughts of their winning streak.
“It all comes with great discipline in yourself, kasi kung wala kang disiplina, hindi mo magagawa na mag-focus. Atleta ka, kaya kailangan maganda ‘yung mindset mo,” she said.
La Salle will try to extend their winning run to 25 games when they play the Adamson Lady Falcons on Saturday. A victory in that game will be the 200th win of head coach Ramil de Jesus with the Lady Spikers.
“Panibagong practice ulit para sa Adamson,” said De Jesus, who gave playing time to his second-stringers in the third set against Ateneo. “Nakita ko ang Adamson, maganda ang nilalaro nila compared doon sa first round.”
“Medyo nagp-peak sila ngayong second round, so dapat talaga sila paghandaan,” he said.