UAAP: Tiamzon stays on even keel after leading La Salle to first win

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2020 12:21 PM

UAAP: Tiamzon stays on even keel after leading La Salle to first win 1
Tin Tiamzon (15) was the leading scorer in La Salle's win over Ateneo. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines -- La Salle veteran Tin Tiamzon knows very well that a strong start to the season does not really guarantee anything for the Lady Spikers.

After all, she was part of last year's squad that started off on a sensational note, with a four-set conquest of archrival Ateneo. But they ended the season in tears, bowing out in the Final 4 to University of Santo Tomas as the team's streak of 10 consecutive Finals appearances came to an end.

Thus, Tiamzon had an understated reaction to La Salle's first win of UAAP Season 82 -- an impressive 25-17, 17-25, 25-17, 25-15 triumph over the Lady Eagles, which saw her put up a game-high 17 points on 14 kills, two blocks, and an ace.

"Happy lang," she said. "I'm happy na lahat ng hard work, it's slowly paying off. 'Yun nga, one game at a time."

"Tuloy pa," she added. "Dami pang kailangan i-improve. Tuloy lang. If it's a good outcome, it's a good outcome."

The Lady Spikers made a statement early, clobbering Ateneo in the opening frame with sophomore spiker Jolina dela Cruz carrying the offense. But the defending champions roared back in the second set, when Jho Maraguinot and Faith Nisperos got their rhythm while La Salle succumbed to errors.

Tiamzon was quick to calm her teammates down afterward.

"Sabi ko lang, one point at a time, one set at a time," she said. "Okay, nanalo sila sa second set, bawi na lang tayo. Erase na. Next set."

The veteran served as the stabilizing force for the Lady Spikers in the next two frames, which saw them overwhelm the Lady Eagles offensively. While Tiamzon was the leading scorer, her other teammates got their turn to shine, too -- particularly their rookies Thea Gagate, Baby Jyne Soreno, Leila Cruz, and libero Justin Jazareno. 

That their young players kept their cool in such a heated game filled Tiamzon with pride.

"Sobrang tapang nila," she said of their rookies. "Ang galing, I was so happy with their performance today, and 'yung hard work na binibigay nila every day sa training para maging mas magaling pa."

As impressive as their win was, Tiamzon says they cannot put too much on stock on it. It is, after all, just the start of the season.

"Hindi masyadong mag-stay sa cloud nine," she said. "Baba agad for the next game, and focus."

La Salle returns to action on Tuesday against University of the Philippines, a team they failed to beat in Season 81.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).