Bittersweet win over NU sends DLSU to finals
MANILA, Philippines - The De La Salle University Lady Spikers and Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles will meet in the UAAP women’s volleyball finals for the fourth straight season.
Thanks to their four set, 26-24, 21-15, 25-18, 25-21 victory over the pesky NU Lady Bulldogs on Saturday, March 7, at the Mall of Asia Arena, DLSU will advance to the finals for a seventh straight season, where a familiar rival awaits.
This year, the roles are reversed as La Salle plays the part of the hunters instead of the hunted, taking on the same team that ended their championship reign in 2014.
Ara Galang scored 25 points in the victory, but had to be carted off the court just moments before the conclusion of the game after landing awkwardly on a spike and injuring her left knee. After the game, she was brought to Makati Medical Center right away.
Joy Baron and Cyd Demecillo each played superb for the Lady Spikers, contributing a combined 30 points.
NU was spearheaded by Myla Pablo, who scored 19 points.
The first set went down the wire as NU rallied from a 23-19 deficit to tie at 24. However, a service error and drop point by Galang, who played her best game of the season prior to the injury, gave La Salle first blood.
A 7-0 run by NU in the second set shifted momentum to their side and gave them a 22-16 lead which La Salle could not bounce back from.
But the Lady Spikers quickly countered in the third set, feasting on 13 spike points and 4 blocks to win, 25-18.
The fourth set started going La Salle’s way when Galang scored four of her team’s five points to extend her club’s lead to 19-16. Moments later when she scored DLSU’s 23rd point of the period, she grabbed her left knee after landing from her spike attempt, and could not get up in her own power.
A stretcher was brought to the court to carry the star Lady Spiker out. Not long after, her teammates put the finishing touches to seal the win.
Game one of the finals is on Wednesday, March 11, 3:30 pm at the Mall of Asia Arena. Ateneo, who swept the eliminations and beat DLSU twice, will have a thrice-to-beat advantage - the same edge DLSU had in last year’s finals where they fell to ADMU in four games.