UAAP Volleyball

Amid piling DLSU woes, Shevana Laput leans on RDJ system that has ‘worked for 20 years’

JR Isaga

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Amid piling DLSU woes, Shevana Laput leans on RDJ system that has ‘worked for 20 years’

DOWN BUT NOT OUT. La Salle spikers Angel Canino (left) and Baby Jyne Soreño in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament.


Battered by late-season injuries to UAAP MVP Angel Canino and role player Baby Jyne Soreño, women's volleyball champion La Salle keeps its mind and spirit high heading to the Season 86 Final Four wars

MANILA, Philippines – The La Salle Lady Spikers are now in the thick of twice-to-beat Final Four contention in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament alongside fellow title hunters NU and UST.

Beneath the facade of an encouraging 10-2 win-loss standings card, however, lies a mounting list of problems for the defending champions, including another untimely injury to opposite hitter Baby Jyne Soreño early in La Salle’s four-set win over Adamson on Wednesday, April 17.

Already missing injured MVP Angel Canino for the third straight contest, which the Lady Spikers won 17-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-22, the battered champions are now bracing for the possibility that Soreño may have dislocated her left shoulder after colliding with a teammate on a dig attempt in the first set.

Shevana Laput, one of La Salle’s few remaining consistent wingers, remained unfazed, however, as she bared her simple mindset ahead of the Lady Spikers’ last two elimination round games in pursuit of a coveted twice-to-beat berth.

“We just need to listen to what the coaches are saying and stick to our system,” she said after powering down a game-high 24 points. “No matter what happens, no matter if there’s an injury on the court, or we lose a set, if we go back to our system, which has worked for over 20 years, we can win this.”

“When we give our all, when we give our effort, when we play with our hearts as well as our minds, we can do anything.”

Without Canino and Soreño, La Salle’s wing rotation is now thinner than ever, as veteran outside hitter Maicah Larroza has since moved to the starting six alongside Laput, captain setter Julia Coronel, and middle blockers Thea Gagate and Amie Provido.

Beyond those players, no other Lady Spiker has played significant minutes this season to warrant a big role in the Final Four and perhaps beyond.

Still, Laput remains convinced that no matter who is left in the trenches, they still have what it takes to live up to their lofty title-or-bust expectations under coaching legend Ramil de Jesus.

“We’re working on our lapses. But that’s not only on just skills, because volleyball is really a mental game,” Laput continued. “We always need to play with confidence. That’s something that we’re still learning as a team, which is fine, obviously. This is all still experience.”

“When we get to the semis, finals, all that, that’s when we need to be adjusted and ready for it.” –

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