'For Leila': Soreño dedicates performance to injured Cruz

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2023 06:24 PM

Photo from UAAP Media Bureau
Photo from UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA – While Baby Jyne Soreño was grateful to be part of the starting unit of the still undefeated De La Salle Lady Spikers, she had injured teammate Leila Cruz in mind. 

“This is for Leila,” she said after finishing with eight points in a three-set win over the FEU Lady Tamaraws on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

Soreño filled in the shoes left by Leila Cruz, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), as confirmed by assistant head coach Noel Orcullo after the FEU game. 

According to the athlete, she was deeply motivated to play her A-game earlier, knowing that everyone in the team is boosting her confidence.

“Sobrang motivated ko po kasi yung mga coaches, yung mga teammates ko, pinu-push talaga nila ako kung ano yung ano ni Leila…Willing ako mag-support talaga sa team sa loob ng court. Willing ako mag-contribute,” she revealed. 

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La Salle faced a tight battle with the Lady Tams as they even needed to overhaul a deficit in the opening frame before Mars Alba led their crucial run that extended the set before eventually winning it. 

For Soreño, she admitted that did not have a good start but she made up for it in the third set where she delivered a lead-stealing down-the-line hit, 26-25. 

“Yung una po, off ako aaminin ko po yun pero yung sa dulo, kumapit lang talaga ako tas strong personality lang talaga, puso lang talaga. Tapos pasok din talaga sa sistema namin,” she said.

The Lady Spikers received confirmation on Cruz’s injury last Tuesday, several days after she went down during their game against the National University Lady Bulldogs. 

"Sad to say, she got an ACL. So tanggapin na lang namin kung ano yun," Orcullo said after their three-set win against the FEU Lady Tamaraws.

"Although, yung bata naman positive naman sa sarili niya na kung ano man yung magiging outcome ng MRI niya tatanggapin naman niya. Yun nga lang nawalan kami ng isang vital part sa team. We have to move on."

During their game against the Lady Bulldogs, Cruz suffered an ugly fall in the first set, forcing her to be stretchered out off the court. She eventually returned to the La Salle bench in the latter part of the game.

La Salle is a win away from securing the first Final Four berth with a 9-0 slate.