UAAP: La Salle sends UP to third straight loss

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2022 12:02 PM | Updated as of May 17 2022 12:25 PM

Rookie ace Alleiah Malaluan shone anew for La Salle in their sweep of UP. UAAP Media.
Rookie ace Alleiah Malaluan shone anew for La Salle in their sweep of UP. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) De La Salle University racked up a second consecutive victory after making quick work of the University of the Philippines (UP) on Tuesday morning at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Spikers overpowered the Fighting Maroons, 25-12, 25-17, 25-19 to improve to 4-2 in the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament. They currently sit at solo second after the first game of today's quadruple-header.

For UP, it was a third straight defeat after opening the season with three victories. Moreover, UP has now lost back-to-back matches in straight sets, having been swept by Ateneo de Manila University in the Battle of Katipunan last Saturday. 

Rookie spiker Alleiah Malaluan continues to shine for La Salle, with 16 points on 15 kills. Fifi Sharma scored 10 points on seven attacks and three blocks, as the Lady Spikers had a whopping 37-17 advantage in kills. Libero Justine Jazareno earned Player of the Game honors after tallying 12 digs and 11 of her team's 22 successful receptions.

"UP started strong talaga, so coming into this game, talagang double-time ang paghahanda ng team," said La Salle assistant coach Bocboc Benson, who admitted that they were concerned about the early start for the game. 

"Hindi rin namain alam kung papaano gagalaw 'yung team. Buti naman, kahit papaano nakapag-adjust," he added. "Sa tingin ko nahirapan din ang UP sa galawan, so nakakuha tayo ng advantage on that."

The Lady Spikers won comfortably in the opening set but found themselves challenged in Set 2, where UP got within three points, 12-9, on a hit by Nina Ytang.

Unfortunately for the Fighting Maroons, they were unable to get any closer. La Salle took the next four points -- three of which were attack errors by Ytang -- to restore a comfortable 16-9 advantage.

UP committed 12 errors in the second frame, and 28 in total for the match. They were also within three points in the third set, 22-19, but a backrow hit by Malaluan and an attack error by Stephanie Bustrillo put La Salle at match point.

Leila Cruz wrapped up the Lady Spikers' victory by blocking Bustrillo in the final rally. The Lady Spikers needed just an hour and 30 minutes to complete the win. 

No player reached double-digits for UP, with Ytang scoring eight points. Rookie Alyssa Bertolano, who entered the match as the league's second-leading scorer, had only four points and was not fielded in the third set. 

UP plays league-leading National University on Thursday to wrap up the first round, while La Salle takes on Far Eastern University.