MANILA, Philippines – The La Salle Lady Spikers stayed undefeated through six games in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament after snapping the Adamson Lady Falcons’ three-game streak in a four-setter, 22-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre on Sunday, March 19.
After her team let go of the first set to the red-hot Falcons, Angel Canino brushed off her lingering illness for a game-high 21-point bomb off 20 attacks plus 17 excellent receptions as La Salle rose to a 6-0 record.
Taft’s newest twin-tower iteration also poured in the work on defense as Thea Gagate scored 16 on 11 spikes and 5 blocks, while Fifi Sharma added 12 points, half coming off rejections. All-around Jolina dela Cruz also scattered 10 points, 13 excellent receptions, and 10 excellent digs to anchor the win.
After the Lady Spikers vented their ire on the Lady Falcons with two blowouts in the second and third sets, Adamson finally gave itself a fighting chance in the fourth after a 4-1 run to get within one, 9-10.
The Lady Falcons stayed within one after a Lucille Almonte hit, 11-12, but La Salle broke away midway through the frame with a small 4-0 spurt, 16-11, ending with an Almonte attack error that Adamson never recovered from.
As Gagate, Sharma, and Canino continued to wax hot nearing the endgame, the Lady Spikers ballooned their lead as high as 7, 19-12, off a Canino crosscourt kill before denying one last Lady Falcon rally to seal the deal.
“The first set, we had a really shaky start as Angel was still getting a feel for the game,” said La Salle head coach Noel Orcullo in Filipino. “She didn’t train for how many days and she rested because she was feeling under the weather.”
“I just reminded her after the first set to get back up because we needed her. There, she woke up.”
Canino’s fellow super rookie Trisha Tubu paced the loss with just 13 points on a 12-of-51 attack clip, while Kate Santiago posted an all-around line of 12 points, 15 excellent digs, and 10 excellent receptions.
La Salle wraps up the first round with a shot at revenge in a finals rematch against the defending champion NU Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday, March 22, 2 pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena, while Adamson kicks off the double-header with a bounce-back chance at 11 am against the UP Fighting Maroons. – Rappler.com
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