La Salle's Aby Marano (2) goes on to block an attack from Ateneo's Ella De Jesus (8). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – There are still areas of their game that the De La Salle Lady Spikers need to improve on even though they have so far dominated the competition in the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament.
“Of course (there’s room for improvement),” La Salle skipper and two-time Most Valuable Player Abigail Maraño said after crushing rivals Ateneo to start the second round of the tournament.
“We never stop, kasi kapag nag-stop ka, parang sinabi mo sa sarili mo na wala na, tapos na ‘yung laban na ito,” she said. “Kailangan every day na nagt-training ka, hangga’t pinagpapawisan ka, meron kang natututunan.”
“Ganoon ‘yung ini-instill namin sa isa’t-isa.”
The Lady Spikers have been flawless in Season 76, winning all eight of their games so far without dropping a single set. They have won 24 straight games dating back to Season 75.
Against Ateneo, La Salle’s intimidating net defense and impressive floor coverage completely took the Lady Eagles out of their offensive rhythm, with even Season 75 Best Scorer Alyssa Valdez rarely able to penetrate the La Salle blockers.
At the end of the third set, with La Salle holding a huge lead, head coach Ramil de Jesus sent in his second stringers. Ateneo mounted a brief rally, but the Lady Spikers were still able to pull out the comfortable victory.
Maraño said it was good for their bench players to earn some playing time, even if they did commit unforced errors that allowed Ateneo to extend the game.
“It’s more of giving a chance to the second stringers, kasi siyempre, patapos na rin ako dito,” said Maraño, who is in her final playing year. “Kailangan ma-expose na rin sila para meron ding pumalit sa mga seniors.”
La Salle goes for its ninth straight win of the season against Adamson University on Saturday.