Grit and Grind: Lady Spikers dice Tigresses to extend beach volley finals

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The Lady Spikers moved closer to their championship aspirations after nailing a tough win against the UST Tigresses, 16-21, 22-20, 18-16, during the second game of the UAAP Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship earlier at the UE Caloocan Sand Court.

“Babawi kami sa next games. Less errors and we will correct our mistakes na nagawa namin sa games today and sana makabawi naman and sana maging composed ulit kami ni Kim,” (We will bounce back in the next games. Less errors and we will correct the mistakes that we committed in today’s games and hopefully we’ll be able to bounce back. And I hope Kim and I will remain composed) says Cyd Demecillo.

UST took the first set of the second game easily 21-16 and looked like they were going to run away with the title but the Lady Spikers refused to give up and furiously won the next two sets, 22-20 and 18-16.

First game mishap

The Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo tandem had a good start in the opening game of the finals but saw their early lead vanish and lost the first set to UST’s Cherry Rondina and Rica Rivera 21-15.

In the second set, La Salle had a chance to tie the game at one set apiece but untimely errors prevented them from capturing the set. With that, UST capitalized on all the errors and miscues that DLSU committed leading them to nab the second set 25-23.

Inching closer to the crown

For the team to grind out another win, it will be their character and experience that would be the main factors in securing the crown.

“Character talaga. Alam namin na ahead kami sa experience. Dapat pagpasok pa lang ng court intimidated na yung kalaban kasi rookies palang sila so alam nila na mas experienced kami” (Character. We know that we are more experienced. The moment we step in the court they should be intimidated already since they are rookies and they know we are more experienced), Fajardo shares.

Game three of the finals between DLSU and UST will be played tomorrow, 9:30am at the UE-Caloocan sand court. If La Salle wins game three, a winner-takes-all-game will follow.

 

Lady Spikers brimming with confidence ahead of title clash against UST

DLSU vs. UST Beach Volleyball Preview

The DLSU Lady Spikers secured their spot in the UAAP season 77 beach volleyball finals after beating the defending champions, Adamson University. DLSU’s Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demcillo needed only one game to oust Adamson after beating them in dominating fashion, 21-11, 21-14.

De La Salle University will face UST’s Cherry Rondina and Rica Jane Rivera in the finals; the same team which gave them their lone loss of the season. “Yung makakaharap kasi namin sa finals, UST [ay ‘yung] same team na tumalo sa amin noong simula pa lang ng tournament. Straight sets pa yun. Kaya mahihirapan pero sana maka adjust na si Cyd at makuha sana namin yung championship,” (We will be facing UST. The same team that beat us at the start of the tournament. We will have a hard time but I hope Cyd will be able to adjust and I’m hoping that we’ll get the championship), said head coach, Ramil De Jesus.

“Ngayon medyo nag-iba. Nagtraining kami last Tuesday and Wednesday tapos nanood yung buong team. Naramdaman talaga namin yung tiwala at suporta nila,” (Now it kind of changed. We trained last Tuesday and Wednesday then the whole team watched. We really felt their trust and support), said reigning UAAP best setter Kim Fajardo. “Syempre nakakatuwa yun, kaya ginagawa talaga namin yung best namin.” (Of course that makes us happy, that’s why we are really doing our best).

Ara Galang, the third player for DLSU’s beach volleyball team feels that her teammates can get the crown, “Nakikita naman natin na maganda talaga nilalaro nila ngayon. Kaya nila yan” (We can see that they are really playing well now. They can do it). At the start of the tournament, Ara mentioned that their biggest advantage would be having a heart of a champion–something she wishes that they could count on in the finals.

“Kailangan lang siguro namin baguhin yung mga maling ginawa namin nung first game against UST tapos sana makaadjust na kami this time” (Maybe we just need to change the wrong things that we did during our first game against UST then hopefully we’ll be able to adjust this time) said Cyd Demecillo. “Bilog ang bola. Sana. Nandito na din kami kaya we want to grab the opportunity” (Ball is round. Hopefully. We are already here that’s why we want to grab the opportunity).

UST, needing to win twice, will have a thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals after sweeping the eliminations round with a record of 7-0. When asked if she thinks they can win the championship despite UST’s huge advantage, Kim’s answer was short and sweet, “Oo naman” (of course).

The DLSU Lady Spikers will try to put a blemish on UST’s perfect record this season as they start their finals showdown on Saturday, September 6, 9:30am at the UE Caloocan sand court. Game two of the finals will be played on the same day at 11:00am.

 

Lady Spikers dethrone Adamson, book finals showdown with UST

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The tandem of Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo defeated the defending champions, Adamson’s Amanda Villanueva and Len Cortel, in straight sets with the score of 21-11, 21-14 to advance to the UAAP beach volleyball finals.

“Umabot na kami dito so bakit pa kami ngayon mag give up. Syempre we won’t give up” (We already made it here so why would we give up now. Of Course we won’t give” expressed Cyd Demecillo.

DLSU relied on their solid defense and smart attacks to outplay Adamson’s duo in a high-tempo duel.

The Lady Spikers will seek to break the invincibility of University of Santo Tomas on Saturday, September 6 still at the UE-Caloocan Sand Court. In the series, the Lasallians will try to erase UST’s thrice-to-beat advantage and win the UAAP Beach Volleyball crown for the first time.

Game photos can be viewed by clicking the link below:

DLSU vs. Adamson Semis Photos [09.04.14]

Lady Spikers ready to hurdle obstacles to capture elusive beach volleyball prize

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The Lady Spikers finished the elimination round of the UAAP season 77 beach volleyball tournament in second place with a 6-1 win-loss card giving them a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.

DLSU’s women’s beach volleyball team composed of Kim Fajardo, Cyd Demecillo and Ara Galang suffered a setback at the start of the tournament when they dropped their opening match against University of Santo Tomas’ Cherry Rondina, Rica Rivera and Bianca Cruz 18-21, 13-21. The loss, however, did not dampen the spirits of Kim, Cyd and Ara as they swept their remaining matches in elimination round.

DLSU’s coach Noel Orcullo is hoping that the strong performance of Kim and Cyd in the elimination round will continue in the semis “Sana magtuloy tuloy. Medyo mahirap yung format pero sana kayanin.” (I hope that it continues. The format is kind of difficult but I hope we make it).

The trio of UST was able to sweep the elimination round, giving them an outright finals berth which also means that the semifinals will not be the usual final four format but will instead be a stepladder format. The winner of the playoff game between defending champions Adamson, represented by Amanda Villanueva and Len Cortel, and Far Eastern University, bannered by Charm Simborio and Bernadeth Pons, will face a DLSU team with a twice-to-beat advantage. The winner between La Salle and either FEU or Adamson will go up against UST in the finals.

Coach Noel feels that it will be important for his team to be able to maximize the advantage that they gained in the elimination round by advancing to the finals right away. “Since naging stepladder yung format dahil walang talo yung UST, I’m hoping na matalo na namin kaagad yung winner ng AdU -FEU game para finals na kaagad kami.” (Since it became a stepladder format because UST didn’t lose, I’m hoping that we can beat the winner of the AdU-FEU game so we can reach the finals right away).

When asked for his thoughts on UST having a huge thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals and his team’s chances of bagging their first ever beach volleyball crown, coach Noel acknowledged the difficulty of playing a renowned beach volleyball team such as UST, “syempre mahirap din kasi yung UST meron silang separate na team for beach and indoor volleyball. Tayo yung sa beach hugot lang sa indoor. Halos one week lang or one and a half weeks lang yung total practice time namin tapos yung UST nag training talaga ng matagal. Sana lang maka adjust talaga yung players. I’m hoping na sana makuha namin yung championship.” (Of course it will be hard because UST has a separate team for beach volleyball and indoor volleyball. For us, we only get our players from our indoor volleyball team. We only had about a week or a week and a half of total practice time then UST; they have been training for a long time. I’m just hoping that the players can adjust. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get the championship).

The Lady Spikers return to UE Caloocan today, awaiting the winner of FEU and Adamson who will clash at 9:00 AM, before seeing action later in the day.

Lady Archers hammer UP, secure twice-to-beat advantage

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A routine win early this morning paved the way for the Lady Archers to enter the Final Four picture with a twice-to-beat advantage following a 62-40 thumping of cellar-dwelling UP at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Jonah Melendres led La Salle with 15 points and seven rebounds in just 17 minutes of play. The former high school standout converted three straight triples in the fourth to extend DLSU’s lead to 16 points midway through the quarter. Sophomore Camille Claro added 9 points and 5 assists for DLSU.

“Just confidence. Just shoot when you’re open,” Melendres uttered what seems to be her mantra on the court against the Lady Maroons.

Bea Daez recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the UP Lady Maroons but the rest of her teammates struggled against the defending champions.

The Lady Archers only had a slim lead at the end of the first half 28-24 with Daez scoring a whopping 15 points. Things were different in the second half, La Salle attuned their defense, limiting Daez to just four points. On the other hand, Coach Tyrone Bautista’s wards exploded for 21 points in the last quarter to close out the game like the champions that they are.

“Happy ako sa performance namin specially nung second half kasi yun yung defense na kailangan namin. Kailangan namin ituloy yung tamang nagagawa namin and minimize lang yung lapses namin” (I’m happy with our performance specially in the second half cause that’s the defense that we need. We need to continue doing the right things that we’ve been doing and just minimize our lapses) says team captain Miller Ong. “For our next game siguro kailangan namin mag defend kung pano talaga yung La Salle basketball defense. Boxout kasi mas malaki sila samin and ball movement para mahanap yung open man” (For our next game maybe we just need to defend like how La Salle basketball defense is. Boxout cause they are bigger than us and ball movement so we can find the open man).

The Lady Archers will face the FEU Lady Tamaraws on Sunday, September 7 at the Blue Eagle Gym.

Game photos can be viewed by clicking the link below:

DLSU vs. UP Women’s Basketball Round 2 [09.03.14]

Box scores:

DLSU (62) – Melendres 15, Claro 9, Corcuera 7, Piatos 6, A. Ong 6, Scott 5, M. Ong 4, Vergara 4, Santos 2, Roxas 2, Oyao 2, Castillo 0, Garcia 0, Lumba 0, Pineda 0.

UP (40) – Daez 19, Esplana 7, Aliermo 6, Isip 3, Wong 3, Tatel 2, Bautista 0, Aurelladp 0, Delmoro 0, Pesquera 0, Franco 0, Medina 0.

Quarter scores: 12-9, 28-24, 41-30, 52-40.

La Salle stymies Adamson for eighth win

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The DLSU Green Archers bounced back from the loss they suffered this midweek by defeating the Adamson Falcons 66-57 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday afternoon.

The win did not come as easy as it did in the first round. DLSU only shot a measly 33.85% from the field and was only able to convert one three point shot out of 17 attempts. The defense of the Green Archers, however, proved to be too much for Adamson to handle. DLSU was able to hold Adamson to an even lower field goal percentage at 31.34%. La Salle also had a huge advantage in free throw attempts; they converted 21 of 33 from the line while Adamson only got to the line 8 times the entire game.

Big man Jason Perkins top scored for the DLSU Green Archers with a monstrous double-double performance in knocking 16 points and 16 boards. Jeron Teng added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists but had a poor shooting day as he only shot 4/17 from the field.

Celedonio Trollano, who had a new career high in points, led the Falcons with 26 big points and 11 rebounds.

The DLSU Green Archers will face the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers on September 6, Saturday, 4:00 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena. That fixture could possibly result in a playoff berth for DLSU while also dashing the beaten finalists’ chances of making the Final Four.

Game photos can be viewed by clicking the link below: 

DLSU vs. AdU Round 2 [08.31.14]

The scores:

DLSU (66) – Perkins 16, Teng 15, Vosotros 12, van Opstal 7, Torres 6, Montalbo 4, Sargent 3, Bolick 3, Rivero 0.

AdU (57) – Trollano 26, Rios 11, Ochea 6, Nalos 5, Monteclaro 4, Aquino 3, Barrera 2, Villanueva 0 Baytan 0, Polican 0, Iñigo 0, Garcia 0.

Quarter scores: 23-8, 33-27, 55-43, 66-57.

Lady Archers demolish Lady Warriors for ninth win

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The DLSU Lady Archers cruised to an easy victory over University of the East, 78-52, to book their 9th win in 11 games.

Trisha Piatos led the way for the Lady Archers as she scored 20 points, 18 of which came from three pointers while rookie Jaime Roxas stepped up in the absence of Cassandra Santos, who missed the game due to her thesis defense, by adding nine points and seven rebounds.

The reigning champions were able to hit 12 three pointers in the game, profiting from an impressive 54.55 percent rate. Piatos alone outscored the entire UE team from downtown as she hit 6/8 from the three-point line for a spectacular 75 percent shooting.

DLSU had an easy time breaking UE’s fullcourt press with their impeccable passing which led to easy baskets in the paint for frontcourt femmes Roxas and Oyao. Despite the huge lead, which they held the entire game, the Lady Archers displayed unrelenting basketball through patient offense and stifling defense until the final buzzer.

“Maybe I just got lucky today that my shots are falling but like what our coach would say, malayo pa we all need to keep on improving,” said Piatos, acknowledging that the team’s level of play is yet to reach where they desire it to be even after what looked to be an easy game.

The Lady Archers target to extend their winning streak as they face the minnows University of the Philippines on Wednesday, September 3, 9am at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

 

Green Spikers drop first assignment to open beach volley tourney

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The Green Spikers took a tough setback against the ADMU Blue Spikers earlier at the UE Caloocan sand courts, 14-21, 18-21.

DLSU’s Mike Frey and rookie Levin Dimayuga came up short against Ateneo’s tandem of Ysay Marasigan and Jeriel Apelar.

Frey was able to get some good attacks for DLSU but opening day nerves got the best of his partner, Levin Dimayuga, as he committed a number of unforced errors.

The Green Spikers will continue their beach volleyball campaign tomorrow, August 24, at the UE sand court, against FEU at 9:00 am and UP at 12 noon.

Lady Spikers drop season opener against UST

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The duo of Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo dropped their first game to UST’s Cherry Rondina and Rica Rivera in straight sets 18-21, 13-21, earlier at the UE Caloocan Sand Court.

The Lady Spikers started slowly in the first set and couldn’t keep up the pace with the Tigresses. UST was quick to capitalize on the attack errors that the Taft-based squad committed and established an 18-12 lead.

DLSU tried to bounce back with a 4-0 run to cut UST’s lead to just 3 points but UST was able to fend off DLSU’s rally and took the first set 21-18.

The second set had the same story for DLSU as they only managed to score 13 points, 5 of which came from UST’s service errors.

UST easily took the second set 21-13.

The Lady Spikers will aim to bounce back tomorrow, August 24, as they go up against defending champions Adamson University, 10:00 am and University of the Philippines at 1:00 pm.

 

Game photos may be viewed by clicking the link below:

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DLSU women’s beach volleyball team: Thirst for the first

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Despite all the achievements that the DLSU women’s volleyball team has accomplished in indoor volleyball, their success has not yet translated to championships in the UAAP beach volleyball games. This year, the trio of Kim Fajardo, Cyd Demecillo and Ara Galang plan to change all that and get DLSU’s very first UAAP beach volleyball championship.

Indoor to outdoor 

The DLSU Lady Spikers have won a total of eight championships already in indoor volleyball that is why it’s puzzling to a lot of people why they have not won a single championship in the beach volleyball games. For reigning UAAP best setter Kim Fajardo, a possible reason is the team’s lack of training and exposure “siguro kasi kulang din sa training kasi wala naman tayong beach volleyball court dito sa La Salle and siguro exposure din kasi wala namang ibang liga” (Maybe we lack training because we don’t really have a beach volleyball court here in La Salle and maybe we lack exposure too since there are no other leagues).

As for being pressured in translating their success in indoor volleyball to beach volleyball, Kim feels that there is a need to play well in beach volleyball too, “yung players sa beach volleyball kinuha din kasi from our indoor team so syempre pride na lang na ganito kami sa indoor so syempre sa beach volleyball dapat patunayan din namin” (our beach volleyball players came from our indoor team so we also have something to prove in beach volleyball).

For veteran player Cyd Demecillo, “pressure is always present because it’s about representing the school. It’s up to the players on how they accept the pressure and adjust to it.”

“Dati siguro walang pressure pero ngayon may pressure kasi yung beach volleyball may points din yun para sa general championship so may pressure din talaga kasi may expectations parang sa indoor volleyball din” (Before there was no pressure but now there’s pressure cause the beach volleyball tournament also has points for the general championship so there’s really pressure too cause there are expectations just like in indoor volleyball), says UAAP season 75 women’s volleyball most valuable player, Ara Galang.

Learning from the past

Last year was not the best year for the DLSU Lady Spikers as they were only able to finish fourth in the UAAP season 76 beach volleyball games. When asked for the reason behind this, Kim Fajardo said “si Cienne (former partner) kasi defense specialist siya so siguro kinulang na din kami sa attacks so ngayon yun yung nagimprove samin since ngayon spikers na yung kasama ko. Last year kasi puro placing lang so ngayon more on attacks na ” (Cienne is more of a defense specialist so we really lacked attacks so for this season that’s what we improved on since I’ll be with attackers. Last year was more on placing so this year more on attacking).

Off-season tournament success

Two of the three players that will be fielded by DLSU in the UAAP beach volleyball games, Ara Galang and Kim Fajardo, joined an off season competition, the Nestia beach volleyball tournament.

The tandem of Galang and Fajardo defeated UAAP season 76 beach volleyball champions Adamson University’s Bang Pineda and Amanda Villanueva in the finals of the Nestea beach volleyball tournament to bag the duo’s first championship as partners.

For Kim, the championship was somewhat unexpected  “Nung Nestea wala kaming training. Nag train kami one day lang tapos for thirty minutes lang. No pressure kami nun kaya masaya lang. Naglaro lang talaga kami tapos ginawan ng paraan”(During Nestea we didn’t have training. We trained for one day only and for just 30 minutes. There was no pressure so we just enjoyed. We just played and made it work).

As for Ara Galang, she thinks that enjoying the game made them win the championship, “siguro yung naging main key namin ni ate Kim yung nag enjoy kami sa laro. Walang nag eexpect sa amin na makuha yung championship” (Maybe the main key for me and Kim was that we just enjoyed the game. No one expected us to win the championship).

Both Ara and Kim plan to use the experience they gained in the Nestea beach volleyball tournament to improve their team’s performance in the UAAP beach volleyball games.

Bracing for the beach

“Nag start kami mag practice mga last week of July ata yun. MWF kami nagtetraining sa sand court dito sa Rizal. 7-9am for beach volleyball tapos hahabol kami sa indoor training tapos sa hapon meron pa din. So tatlong beses kami pero makakatulong na din sa endurance namin yun” (We started practicing around the last week of July. We train in Rizal’s sand court every M,W,F. 7-9am for beach volleyball then we catch up for our indoor training then we still have training in the afternoon. So we train three times but that will help improve our endurance).

As for Cyd Demecillo, she simply said that they practice hard to prepare for this coming UAAP season 77 beach volleyball games.

Dedicated to push their limits

When asked if she feels that they have a chance of winning the UAAP season 77 beach volleyball championships, Kim answered by saying that they will try their best “Hindi kami makaka promise na mananalo kasi lahat naman ng teams nag prepare. Si Cyd din kasi first time ko makakapartner and yung conditioning namin hindi pa 100% pero hindi naman ibig sabihin nun hindi na namin mabibigay yung 100% namin sa laro. Syempre pipilitin namin manalo” (We can’t promise that we’ll win because all of the teams are preparing. It will be my first time to be partners with Cyd too and our conditioning is not yet 100% but that does not mean that we won’t give our 100% in our games. Of course we will push ourselves to win).

As for Ara Galang she feels that each one of them has the heart of a champion and that will be their biggest advantage come UAAP.

Cyd Demecillo on the other hand answered with a simple “yes.”

On to the sands

The DLSU women’s beach volleyball team will begin their quest for their first ever UAAP beach volleyball championship today, August 23 at the University of the East-Caloocan sand court as they face the University of Santo Tomas at 9am.