MANILA, Philippines – Despite a banner year that includes a 16-game winning streak and a third straight UAAP volleyball title, Season 75 champions De La Salle Lady Spikers want to have an even better performance in Season 76.
The Lady Spikers clinched their third consecutive volleyball championship and eighth overall after sweeping the Ateneo Lady Eagles in Game 2 last March 6 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
During the Animo Year-end Thanksgiving ceremony last Saturday, La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus said he is hoping his players will have an even better campaign in Season 76.
“Ang lagi kong sinasabi sa mga bata na kung ano ‘yung ginawa nila na performance this year, lagi nilang lalampasan,” De Jesus said.
“’Yung memory na iniwan nila noong time na ‘yun, nakatatak pa sa isip ng opponent namin,” he added.
“So kailangan lang malampasan niyo ‘yung performance next year para palagi kayong angat.”
De Jesus said they had expected a difficult season, since many of the other UAAP teams featured intact line-ups, including the Lady Eagles, who had five seniors on their squad.
“Actually lagi kong sinasabi... na hindi ganoon kadali ang dadaan namin this season, kasi halos lahat ng teams ngayon intact, lalo na Ateneo. ‘Yung five doon, seniors so graduating na. Hindi basta-basta aayaw ‘yung team na ‘yun,” he explained.
After losing to the University of Sto. Tomas at the start of the season, the Lady Spikers reeled off 16 straight wins and won their third straight title.
“Sabi ko sa mga bata, kailangan lang maniwala sa sarili,” De Jesus explained. “Although ‘yung mga kalaban namin (sa Finals) puro seniors, so most of them are graduating, sabi ko, hindi naman kailangan na maging matanda ka para ma-motivate mo ‘yung sarili mo o para lumaban ka.”
“Kailangan lang maniwala sa sarili mo, alam ko kaya mong manalo. Sabi ko sa mga bata, ‘wag nila kakalimutan kung sino kayo,” he added.
The Lady Spikers figure to be among the favorites next season, especially as two-time Most Valuable Player Abigail Maraño has confirmed she will return for her final playing season.