MANILA, Philippines – The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers slipped past the University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses whose fierce outside hitter Cherry Rondina exploded with 28 points on Saturday, February 3.
A part of DLSU's escape was the 5-0 start to the 5th and final set of the match, which was capped off by a Michelle Cobb service ace. This was crucial to giving the Lady Spikers a signficant cushion to take the win that was closed out by Aduke Ogunsanya's block on Rondina's spike.
In Season 79, Cobb was never awarded a starting position as her talents were overshadowed by 3-time best setter Kim Fajardo. She had very limited playing as she only occassionally came off the bench to assist Fajardo.
Now that the team has lost the services of Fajardo due to graduation, Cobb is now filling in some big shoes this Season 80.
In her debut as a starter, she already made immediate impact with 37 excellent sets, 6 points off two blocks, and a team-high of 4 service aces.
Head coach Ramil de Jesus assessed her contributions and the team's performance with a "passing grade" due to the victory. Referring to Cobb, De Jesus understands that she still needs improvement, but she is not expected to be exactly like a Kim Fajardo.
"Sa ngayon passing grade. Pero kasi nga marami pa ako nakikitang hindi ko naman hinahabol na hanapan na gawin yung mga ginagawa ni Kim Fajardo. Pero sa akin kasi, kung ano siya, kung ano ang style niya, iimprove-in niya yung style niya. Then siguro yung magiging ano pa... more on itaas niya yung bola," said de Jesus.
(For now it's a passing grade. But I still see a lot of things that I'm not really trying to hard to find that she should do what Kim Fajardo does. But for me, whatever she is, whatever her style is, she should improve on her style. Then most probably she should set the ball higher.)
"Mas maganda siguro yung nadidiskartehan niya 'yung set niya and at the same time, hinahanapan niya kung papaano magkakaroon ng open block or single block yung spikers." (It would be better if she if strategizes her set and at the same time, she will be finding out how to set up open blocks and single blocks for the spikers.)
As the defending champions were tested by the Tigresses, it serves as a sign for Cobb and the Lady Spikers to adjust to the rotation and mature in order for them to clinch a 3-peat title this season.
"Sinabi ko sa mga players ko kung gusto natin manalo, dadaan tayo sa pinakamahirap na parte ng laro so hopefully makakapag-adjust sila nang kaagad. Kasi every game ineexpect ko kay Cobb na mas matuto o basta maging mature sa game," said de Jesus.
(I told the the players that if we want to win, we are going to go through the most difficult parts of the game so hopefully they will be able to adjust immediately. Because every game, I will expect that Cobb will learn more and be more mature in the game.) – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.