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MANILA, Philippines – Perennial UAAP forces La Salle and Adamson rolled past separate opponents to complete a group sweep and march on to the quarterfinals of the 2023 Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals on Tuesday, August 1, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre.
The reigning UAAP champion La Salle needed only 70 minutes to dispatch CESAFI runner-up University of Southern Philippines Foundation, 25-14, 25-15, 25-19, while UAAP bronze medalist Adamson also blanked NCAA runner-up Lyceum, 25-17, 25-18, 25-22, in 71 minutes.
Alleiah Malaluan hammered 13 points built on 12 hits as La Salle swept Pool A of the nationwide tilt.
The Lady Spikers, who also drubbed University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in the opener, 25-11, 25-17, 25-12, drew ample support from Shevana Laput and Katrina del Castillo with 10 points apiece.
But La Salle, without UAAP rookie MVP Angel Canino and ace libero Justine Jazareno, is far from being satisfied entering the knockout playoffs.
“Marami pa kaming kulang. Lalo yung connection ng setters at spikers. Marami pang kailangang ayusin. ‘Yung mga unnecessary errors, kailangan masolusyonan,” said assistant coach Noel Orcullo as La Salle also deals with the graduation of key cogs Jolina dela Cruz, Mars Alba, and Fifi Sharma.
(We have a lot of things to work on, especially the connection of our setters and spikers. We need to fix things. The unnecessary errors, we need to find the solution.)
Later, Lucille Almonte fired 10 points on 6 hits and 4 aces in the Lady Falcons’ second straight win under new coach JP Yude. Sharya Nicole Ancheta and Red Bascon added 9 and 7 points, respectively.
“Good thing na nalagpasan namin yung elims pero kailangan pa naming paghandaan kung sino makakalaban sa quarterfinals lalo at paangat ng paangat ang games,” said Yude, who succeeded former Adamson mentor Jerry Yee.
(Good thing we got past the elims but we need to prepare for our opponents in the quarterfinals as the games are getting harder.)
The sweep of La Salle (2-0) in Pool A and Adamson (2-0) in Pool C also paved the way for the quarterfinal entries of Perpetual (1-1) and Jose Maria College Foundation (1-1).
Perpetual finished second in Pool A after beating USPF while Mindanao bet JMFC clinched the last ticket from Pool C owing to an upset of Lyceum for the biggest revelation so far in the tourney.
USPF (0-2) and Lyceum (0-2) crashed out of contention while four more seats in the quarterfinals are up for grabs in the remaining games of press time.
CSB, UST stay perfect
The University of Santo Tomas and College of St. Benilde also topped their respective groups via sweep en route to the quarterfinals by clobbering their different foes at the close of the elimination round.
UST (2-0) dropped La Salle-Dasma, 25-10, 25-10, 25-8, to sweep Pool B as NCAA champion CSB (2-0) followed suit with a 25-11, 25-13, 25-10 domination of NAASCU titlist and Luzon qualifier Enderun Colleges to wipe out Pool D.
Xyza Gula cashed in 14 points while Maribeth Hilongo had 13 points to lead the way for UST with Karylle Ann Caasi quarterbacking the Golden Tigresses’ attack with 13 sets.
“Gusto ko lang po na maayos ‘yung performance namin. Kulang pa po kami sa chemistry but we’re getting there,” said Caasi as UST needed only 64 minutes to eliminate La Salle-Dasma.
(I want us to work on our performance. We still lack chemistry but we’re getting there.)
For back-to-back NCAA queen CSB, Wielyn Estoque and Jade Gentapa joined forces with 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the match that lasted only 63 minutes.
With UST’s win, CESAFI champion University of San Jose-Recoletos (1-1) clinched the second seed in Pool B to also make the quarterfinals as Enderun (1-1) bagged the last ticket in Pool D despite the defeat against CSB.
The Golden Tigresses will face Enderun while the Lady Blazers take on Pool A No. 2 team University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
In other pairings, Pool A leader La Salle collides with Pool C second-seed Jose Maria College Foundation while Pool C pacer Adamson clashes against Pool B second-ranked USJ-R.
All SSL matches are accessible across all platforms live and on-demand with Plus Network Digital Media Services, CNN Philippines, Solar Sports Entertainment and TAP Sports serving as media partners.
The games are also shown live in all Shakey’s branches nationwide. – Rappler.com