UAAP Volleyball

Next women up: Larroza, Laput ready to lead La Salle after freak Canino accident

JR Isaga

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Next women up: Larroza, Laput ready to lead La Salle after freak Canino accident

WIN AS ONE. The La Salle Lady Spikers huddle after a point in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

The La Salle Lady Spikers, looking for answers after losing MVP Angel Canino to a freak right arm accident, find solace in veteran Maicah Larroza and rising sophomore Shevana Laput to fill in the massive void

MANILA, Philippines – Be ready when your number is called.

That adage holds true in all team sports in all levels of competition, especially with championship-caliber teams.

So when defending UAAP women’s volleyball champion La Salle suffered a devastating blow after reigning MVP Angel Canino went down with a freak right arm injury, multiple Lady Spikers were immediately on point to fill the massive offensive void.

Although the vaunted volleyball program always expects team-wide effort in all its games, two spikers, Shevana Laput and Maicah Larroza, stood out from the rest as La Salle fended off the feisty UP Fighting Maroons in four tight sets, 26-24, 25-19, 24-26, 27-25.

Still finding her way and polishing her skills in her sophomore season, the towering Laput led all scorers with 21 points, while veteran role player Larroza made the most of her extended playing time with 12 points, 10 excellent digs, and 10 excellent receptions.

Although the Lady Spikers’ win was far from perfect, as they even blew a 20-24 third-set lead, both standouts were more than happy to fill in the gaps for their fallen teammate.

“Definitely, there’s a need to step up. I guess there’s that pressure, but I’m glad that my team and the coaches have that trust in me. It’s just… all of us [need to work]” said Laput, the Fil-Aussie rising star.

“Everyone just needs to be ready in case. Whoever is called must deliver,” added Larroza in Filipino. “We will never be able to do it with just one person. We don’t depend on just one player. We all need to deliver and we all need to trust one another.”

Always behind Canino and Alleiah Malaluan in the outside hitter rotation, Larroza is pleased that she and fellow second-stringer Baby Jyne Soreño were able to fully repay the trust of legendary head coach Ramil de Jesus when he decided to give them a longer leash.

“I will take this opportunity to lead as an ate, as a senior, as a graduating player,” Larroza continued. “I need to step up for Angel, for everyone in the team.”

With Canino’s status very much in doubt for the next few games, the Lady Spikers will need all they can get from their role players as they gun for the coveted Final Four twice-to-beat bonus with an 8-1 record.

“It won’t be easy, but we will crawl and fight for this,” Larroza said. “We won’t waste coach’s trust since he expects big things from us.”

“So why shouldn’t we trust ourselves?” –

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