MANILA, Philippines – After missing the UAAP women’s volleyball finals last year due to ACL and MCL tears in her left knee, Ara Galang was ecstatic to be back at the tournament’s biggest stage with her DLSU Lady Spikers teammates during their Game 1 win against defending champion Ateneo.
Galang posted 10 points and was one of the 4 DLSU players to score in double-figures as the Lady Spikers beat the Lady Eagles in 3 sets.
“May goosebumps,” Galang said post-game about being back in the finals. “Alam [mo] yung sobrang happy and excited kasi makakalaro na ako with my team, and yun lang, sobrang puro fun lang…”
(I had goosebumps. You know that feeling when you’re really happy and excited because you can play with your team, and, that’s it, it was really fun.)
Galang injured her knee in the fourth and final set of La Salle’s Final Four matchup versus the NU Lady Bulldogs last season. With the Lady Spikers’ best scorer sidelined, Ateneo swept the finals, 2-0.
“Syempre masaya, kasi parang one step closer na to sa goal nang team,” was Galang’s reaction about the Game 1 win. “Pero syempre hindi dapat kami maging complacent or ma-satisfy sa one game win lang. Kailangan paghirapan pa namin and kailangan yung tingin namin sa goal parin.”
(Of course I’m happy, because we’re one step closer to our goal. But of course we can’t be complacent or satisfied with just one win. We need to work hard and keep our focus on our goal.)
(READ: Mika Reyes no stranger to boos from Ateneo crowd)
DLSU won despite trailing in each set. It started the game down to Ateneo 7-1 in the first set and even fell behind 21-18 in the second set before rallying to win both times.
“Last time sinabi ko na lahat nang set nakuha namin is down yung kalaban, so malaking bagay saamin yung down kami and then kumapit para manalo,” the team’s head coach Ramil De Jesus said post-game.
(I told last time that the sets we won was when our opponents were trailing, so it’s a big thing that we were facing a deficit and were able to hold on for the win.)
“Napakaimportante kasi bumalik yung tiwala nang bawa’t player ko,” he later added. “Napakahirap kasi makuha yun eh, lalo na kung ganitong back-to-back champion yung lalabanin.”
(It’s important that the trust of each of my players return. It’s really hard to win a championship, especially in this case where we’re facing a back-to-back champion.)
Game 2 is on Wednesday, April 27. – Rappler.com
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