De Jesus thanks graduating Des Cheng for leading La Salle
MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in a full decade, the La Salle Lady Spikers are not part of the UAAP women’s volleyball finals cast.
That’s all due to the unrelenting UST Golden Tigresses, who ended La Salle’s four-peat title bid in a five-set Final Four classic on Sunday, May 5.
With La Salle bowing out, it also means that the Lady Spikers have to say goodbye to one-and-done transferee Lourdes Clemente and team captain Des Cheng.
A tearful Cheng, along with the rest of the Lady Spikers, understandably turned down one last interview after the game, but multi-time champion coach Ramil De Jesus at least had some praises for his standout ward.
“Sa akin very thankful ako sa kaniya kasi tinapos niya yung playing year niya kasi halos nag-decide na siya na hindi na maglalaro,” he said after the game. “Siguro kung hindi maglalaro yan baka hindi kami umabot man lang ng top 4 kaya very thankful ako sa kanya, sa kanilang dalawa ni Lourdes Clemente.”
(For me, I’m very thankful of her because she finished her playing years after almost deciding not to push through. Maybe if she didn’t play, we wouldn’t even have reached the top 4 so I’m very thankful of her and Lourdes Clemente.)
Cheng finished her UAAP career averaging 8.8 points per game at the end of Season 81 eliminations, just behind super rookie Jolina Dela Cruz’s 11.5.
“Para sa akin ginawa naman niya yung sa side niya kung ano yung dapat sa team, sa abot ng kaya niya,” De Jesus said. “Siyempre sa bawat team captain may kaniya-kaniyang idea kung papaano iha-handle yun team, yung leadership papaano mo i-implement sa mga kasama mo, papaano mo sila mapapagalaw.”
(For me, she did her part on what’s best for the team to the best of her abilities. Of course, for every team captain, they have their own ideas on how to handle the team, how to implement leadership to your peers and how to make them move.)
And Cheng’s leadership was indeed evident after UST dropped them to a 0-2 hole in the game. Although they eventually fell apart in the 5th set, Cheng’s constant encouragement against all odds helped the Lady Spikers make a two-frame comeback.
“Para sa akin, siguro yun yung way niya para pagalawin yung team,” De Jesus continued. “Kasi like yung si Lourdes, yung ibang mga rookies, mga bago yan. Siyempre para sumunod ka na sa sistema na gusto mo, kailangan matagal ka na sa team para makapag-adjust ka sa sistema.”
(For me, I guess that’s her way to keep the team moving. Because like Lourdes and the other rookies, they’re new. Of course, for you to follow the system you like, you need to be a mainstay of the team to adjust to the system.)
Clearly, the Lady Spikers held their captain in high regard, as they bid her farewell with one last show of respect after the crushing loss.
Although Cheng had no words to say amid a tearful exit, she at least took the time to tweet out her thanks as she prepares for her next chapter ahead.
Buong puso akong nag papasalamat sainyong lahat iba kayo, sobra.— Desiree Wynea Cheng (@itsmedescheng) May 5, 2019