Hobbling Cheng flashes leadership in La Salle's revenge win

MANILA, Philippines - Desiree Cheng honestly shared that her right shoulder is still not in perfect condition, but she showed up with her veteran presence and willed her team to its sixth triumph in 8 games.

"Shoulder is not that super okay, but I can cope with it," said Cheng who registered a game-high 17 points against the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday, March 27. 

Cheng though, was hopeful that her shoudler gets healthier as the reigning champions enter the crucial stages of the current campaign.

"Sana maging healthy pa. Sana maging consistent. Consistency talaga inaantay ko, kahit sa akin personally, ako mismo."

(I hope it gets healthier. I hope that I can be consistent. I'm really waiting for consistency of the team and myself.) 

The reigning UAAP volleyball women’s division Best Server also indicated that there was an additional drive on her part after witnessing her team struggle in their last game – a straight-set defeat against the Univeristy of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons

"Extra motivation is hindi ko na papayagan na magkaroon ng talo basta-basta yung team na ganun-ganon lang kasi ang hirap sa part namin na makabangon from any loss ng ganun," she said in her post-game interview.

La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus believed that the champion team didn't play like one at all as it lacked leadership on the court. 

The 22-year old spiker then took it personally as the captain and one of the seniors. 

"It’s a team sport pero dapat like lahat gagalaw pero like ikaw yung inaasahan nila pero parang wala ka. Parang ganun, ang hirap sa part ko."

(It’s a team sport, but since I’m one of the seniors, they look up to you and it’s hard on my part when we lose.)

Their next game is against the Univeristy of Santos Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses – a team that dealt them their first straight-set loss – and Cheng expects the team to bounce back and emerge victorious from that game.

"This time, pipilitin namin makabawi, hindi yung basta-basta lang na talo like last time."

(We’ll try to win this time, and not give it away easily like last time.) – Juro Morilla/Rappler.com