MANILA, Philippines – Even with a complete roster, the Ateneo Lady Eagles were denied in straight sets by reigning champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers, who played with no pressure to go undefeated in the second round on Sunday, April 15.
The Lady Spikers made it a point to prove that they have recovered from their two losses in the first round against National University and Adamson University. With their game against Ateneo being a non-bearing game, graduating players Kim Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili gave their all to make the statement.
“We’re treating every game like it’s our last. Of course, we’re all out. It’s now or never every game,” said Dy in a mix of English and Filipino.
Younger players who stepped up in Sunday’s game, like starting setter Michelle Cobb and Tin Tiamzon, are consciously playing their hearts out in the remaining games for the pride of their seniors.
“Siyempre, for our seniors, kasi that’s what coach says, we want to give them the grandest exit, so ‘yun ang motivation namin as a team,” said Cobb.
(Of course, for our seniors, because that’s what coach says, we want to give them the grandest exit, so that’s our motivation as a team.)
Although the young DLSU players have been inconsistent, DLSU head coach Ramil de Jesus heaped praise on Cobb, who has earned the trust of her teammates.
“Ngayong second round, kumpleto sila [Ateneo], ando’n na ‘yung confidence sa setter natin, nagkaroon ng tiwala sa bawat isa,” said De Jesus.
(In this second round, Ateneo is complete, the confidence in our setter is there, there is trust among the team members.)
Cobb has yet to embrace her role as a setter even though she outplayed Ateneo’s Deanna Wong in the setting department, 24-14. However, she has become a vital player, scoring 7 points off 4 blocks and 3 aces on Sunday.
“I’m still in the process of embracing my role as we go into the Final 4 and in our remaining games. My goal is to embrace my role…. I think that’s gonna lighten it up for the team,” said Cobb.
The Lady Spikers aim to continue their winning ways as they face 4th seed National University Lady Bulldogs next Sunday, April 22, at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com
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