MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle University captain Desiree Cheng bid an emotional goodbye to the Lady Spikers after her UAAP volleyball career came to a close on Sunday.
A heartbreaking five-set loss to University of Santo Tomas (UST) in the UAAP Season 81 Final 4 ended La Salle's campaign. The end came earlier than the Lady Spikers would have wanted – for the first time in a decade, they failed to advance to the women's volleyball finals. Their bid for a fourth straight championship was once again foiled, as well.
On Instagram, Cheng reflected on her journey with the Lady Spikers, one that started in Season 76 and was highlighted by two women's volleyball titles.
"Who would have thought that I could stay that long here in La Salle right?" she said.
"It was one heck of a ride fighting for the Green and White. But I just want you guys to know na I am leaving my AN1MO journey with a happy heart and much contentment," Cheng added.
"It was such an honor on my part to have the opportunity to finish my studies and to play volleyball in my dream school."
Cheng expressed her gratitude to her coaches, particularly Ramil de Jesus, who "believed in me during those moments when I even doubted myself."
De Jesus had come to Cheng's defense following their loss to UST, stressing that the veteran open spiker had done her job as captain as well as she could.
"Very thankful ako sa kanya kasi tinapos niya 'yung playing years niya. Halos nag-decide na siya na hindi na siya maglalaro eh. Siguro, kung hindi naglaro 'yun, hindi kami umabot ng Top Four," de Jesus said.
Cheng helped La Salle win the UAAP title in Seasons 79 and 80, winning Finals MVP honors in Season 79. She was also last year's Best Server.
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