MANILA – The De La Salle University Lady Spikers finally got a breakthrough win against defending champion National University (NU) after losing all their matches to the Lady Bulldogs last season.
And they did it convincingly with a surprisingly 25-10, 25-15, 25-21 easy victory on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena that kept their record unblemished at 7-0 in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
While the team received plenty of support from everyone in the starting lineup, the Lady Spikers also got a much-needed boost from coach Ramil de Jesus before the game.
According to interim head coach Noel Orcullo, De Jesus met the team just before they went to the MOA Arena in the morning for a pep talk.
“'Di pwedeng magpapa-intimidate tayo dahil nung last year, hindi tayo nakakuha ng set. Ayun naging effective naman 'yang mga paalala namin. Pati nga si coach kaninang umaga, nagbigay siya ng pep talk bago kami umalis. Ayun maganda ang resulta,” Orcullo shared to the press.
Orcullo said the multi-titled coach only gave few words, reminding the girls not to be intimidated against the Lady Bulldogs.
Meanwhile, the Lady Spikers dedicated their win to De Jesus, who has yet to attend the games of La Salle since the start of the season.
“It's always meaningful when Coach Ramil gives us advice before the game, siyempre nami-miss namin siya. Of course, it means a lot to us na he's always there behind everything and he's the main reason why we achieved this win today,” said Fifi Sharma, who finished with 11 points.
Veteran setter Mars Alba and super rookie Angel Canino echoed the same sentiment.
“Malaking bagay kasi lagi naman nakaantabay si Coach Ramil, nakikinig lang kami lagi sa mga payo niya and 'yun nga sa tulong din ni Coach Noel nagagawa rin namin 'yung mga pinapagawa ni Coach Ramil,” Alba said.
“Sobrang laking impact na po siguro ni Coach Ramil sa buhay namin and as a team kaya kahit anong sabihin niya sinusunod po namin. Sa lahat naman po ng coaches sinusunod namin,” Canino added.
Asked whether the De Jesus will finally be seen on the sidelines of the green-and-white team, Orcullo just simply teased: “Let’s wait and see rin.”