UAAP: La Salle repeats over NU as De Jesus returns

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2023 07:36 PM | Updated as of Mar 25 2023 08:35 PM

Photo from UAAP Media Bureau]
Photo from UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA – The De La Salle Lady Spikers continued their mastery over the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament. 

Albeit in tighter scores, the Lady Spikers swept the defending champions Lady Bulldogs, 26-24, 26-24, 25-16 with head coach Ramil de Jesus finally calling the shots at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City on Saturday. 

La Salle has remained undefeated in eight outings while dealing NU its third loss of the season for a 5-3 record, tied with the UST Golden Tigresses. 

This was the first game De Jesus took the helm for the Lady Spikers after skipping the entire first round of competition. 

He last coached La Salle in Game 2 of the finals in Season 84 last June 2022 when they lost to NU in straight sets.

Super rookie Angel Canino and senior Jolina dela Cruz were instrumental in another win of La Salle as they scored 15 and 12 points, respectively. 

They also benefited from the 26 errors of NU while limiting theirs to just 12 in the entire match. 

“Medyo may ginawa silang adjustment. Yun nga yung sabi nga namin, maging ready kayo sa gagawing adjustment ng NU kasi hindi naman ganun kadali para ibigay ulit sa atin nang ganung kabilis. Although unexpected na naman straight sets, pero yung first two sets, kahit papano naitawid namin. Medyo bumitaw nung huli, pero nandun yung eagerness ng mga bata na manalo. Yun, naitawid nang ganun lang,” assistant coach Noel Orcullo said. 

After a tight first two sets, the Lady Spikers pulled away early in the third as Fifi Sharma scored off an attack and an ace for an 11-5 lead. 

The green-and-white squad made another mini run sparked by back-to-back errors of NU for a 15-6 separation. 

An attack by Baby Jyne Soreno, who replaced Leila Cruz in Set 1 after a scary fall, kept the nine-point lead of DLSU, 18-9.

La Salle’s lead was insurmountable for the Lady Bulldogs by then as a service error and a kill of Canino punctuated their matchup in yet another three-set affair.

Reigning MVP Bella Belen and rookie Vange Alinsug were the only firepower of NU as they tallied 17 and 14 points, accordingly. 

Alyssa Solomon, who used to be the top scorer of the Lady Bulldogs, was limited to just eight points.

NU started the second frame strong with a 5-1 lead – thanks to the scoring barrage of Belen – but Canino took over on the other side to steal the upper hand after a crosscourt spike and a down-the-line hit, 8-6. 

DLSU libero Justine Jazareno also contributed in scoring off an over ball to give them a 14-10 breather. 

The Lady Bulldogs threatened to comeback as Erin Pangilinan unleashed a middle hit followed by a spike of Solomon to trail by just one, 20-21.

The two teams exchanged costly errors in the last part of the set to force an extension but a through-the-block kill by Canino and an error of NU gave La Salle a 2-0 lead.

UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.