MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion De la Salle will try to close out its finals series against Ateneo on Wednesday when they meet again in Game 3 of Season 74 UAAP women’s volleyball at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Spikers took advantage of the Lady Eagles’ lack of championship experience and booked a 23-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-18 victory in Game 2 that was played before a sell-out crowd last Saturday.
“Kailangan naming bawasan ang mga unforced errors kung nais naming manalo. Magiging susi din sa amin ang magandang blocking at receiving,” said La Salle mentor Ramil de Jesus.
The Lady Eagles were poised to win their match last Saturday, but collapsed in the third frame despite posting a 16-10 lead. They were at match point, 24-22, but surrendered four straight points to the Lady Spikers.
“Lumabas ang inexperience ng mga bata sa Game 2. Pero despite this, napatunayan namin na kaya naming makipagsabayan sa La Salle. Lalaban pa rin kami sa Game 3,” said Ateneo mentor Roger Gorayeb.
Abigail Maraño hopes to rebound from a dismal seven-hit performance on the same day she hoisted the season’s Most Valuable Player trophy.
But despite her anemic showing, ace blocker Michelle Gumabao, Rookie of the Year Ara Galang and veteran Cha Cruz, along with setter Mika Esperanza, delivered the goods for the Taft-based ladies.
Alyssa Valdez continued her strong showing in the Finals with a 23-point performance. But Ateneo veterans Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio, Gretchen Ho, Aillysse Nacachi and setter Jem Ferrer must elevate their game a notch higher for the Lady Eagles to force a do-or-die game.
If Ateneo wins, the deciding Game 4 is set on Saturday, perhaps in a bigger venue.
The Lady Eagles took Game 1, 23-25, 28-26, 25-23 and 25-17.
La Salle is seeking its second straight championship in women's volleyball and their seventh overall. Ateneo, meanwhile, is gunning for its first ever UAAP volleyball title.
The La Salle-Ateneo match will be aired live on Studio 23 at 2 p.m.