DLSU Lady Spikers blank Ateneo, sweep Round 2

The De La Salle University Lady Spikers swept the second round of the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament after blanking their arch-rivals Ateneo Lady Eagles, 26-24, 25-17, 25-19, on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

It was a seesaw battle in the third canto as the Lady Eagles looked to extend the match. But the top-seeded Lady Spikers thought otherwise, breaking through a close affair to win it in straight sets.

The protagonists traded points to start the game. Kat Tolentino hit one of her 15 points to make it a 6-all game. Third year Lady Spiker Tin Tiamzon connected on a down-the-line attack to bring La Salle up, 7-6. Desiree Cheng eventually sent it to the first technical timeout, 8-6. Coming off the break, La Salle pulled a 4-1 run to increase their cushion to four, 12-8. Ateneo answered with their own run, albeit slow, to cut the deficit to two, 15-13. With the Lady Spikers leading, 17-13, the Lady Eagles rallied four straight markers, capped by two Deanna Wong points, to tie it at 17-all.

Michelle Cobb blocked an entry from Ateneo to give La Salle a two-point lead, 20-18. Then, Cheng converted two straight points, one down-the-line attack and one block. That pull her team to within two points, 23-20. An ace from Cobb sent the Lady Spikers to set point, 24-20. However, the Lady Eagles once again rallied four consecutive points to tie and extend the frame. But, Jhoanna Maraguinot fumbled her service. Reigning MVP Majoy Baron capitalized on the error to finish the set, 26-24, in favor of the Lady Spikers.

In the second period, La Salle started even stronger, jumping off to a 4-0 lead after an ace from Cobb. Dy and Cheng added two more points to keep their team ahead. Tiamzon caught fire midway through the rally as the Taft-based squad mounted a 10-2 lead over the Katipunan-based squad. But, the latter were able to score three straight points to cut their deficit to six, 13-7, following back-to-back points from Tolentino and an error from Aduke Ogunsanya. Middle blocker Maddie Madayag completed the rally with an ace.

Wary of a shifting momentum, Coach Ramil de Jesus called a timeout as Ateneo were down only by five, 14-9. After the break, Julia Ipac scored down the line and ultimately sparked a 6-1 run that pushed La Salle’s lead to double digits, 20-10. Jules Samonte scored back-to-back points as the Lady Eagles tried to inch their way back to the game. However, their errors allowed the Lady Spikers to move closer to set point, eventually costing them Set 2, 25-17. Five-foot-four Cobb sealed it with one of her four blocks.

Just like their first encounter this season, the Green and White seemed out of focus in the third set. After keeping the set knotted heading into the first technical timeout, the Lady Spikers allowed the Lady Eagles to gain momentum and slowly pull away. Tolentino, Samonte, Maraguinot, and Madayag each contributed for the Blue and White as they turned a 7-8 lead into a 8-12 game. De Jesus once again burned a timeout to regroup the Lady Spikers, and it paid off quite easily. Despite still trailing at many times, though only one point, La Salle visibly started to come alive midway through the set. A service error from Madayag and a block tied it at 14-all.

Ipac, who continued her phenomenal showing off the bench, scored and initiated the first two points of another La Salle rally. Tiamzon checked a Lady Eagle before Dy scored an ace for an 18-15 lead. That also forced Ateneo coach Tai Bundit to call for time as momentum had clearly shifted to the defending champions. However, it did not help as the Season 80 first runners-up committed three errors that pulled La Salle to within four, 21-16. Tolentino scored off-the-block to trim as her team nonetheless attempted another rally to extend the match. A block from Ateneo cut La Salle’s lead down to four, 22-18. However, a 3-1 exchange by the protagonists, capped by Cheng’s attack gave La Salle the 25-19 set win and the 3-0 match victory.

Michelle Cobb, the Best Player of the Game, finished with seven points on four blocks and three serves. She also listed 24 excellent sets, 10 more than her Ateneo counterpart Deanna Wong, who finished with only 14. Kim Dy scored a team-high 13 points, while Desiree Cheng had 12. Tin Tiamzon was the only other Lady Spiker with double figures as she ended with 11 markers.

Kat Tolentino led her team with 15 points, while Jhoanna Maraguinot was limited to six.

With the victory, the Lady Spikers ended the elimination round at 12-2. Along with the sweep of the second round, they also extended their winning streak to eight, giving them a good momentum heading into the Final Four.

The DLSU Lady Spikers’ playoff campaign starts on Sunday, 4 PM at the same venue when they face the fourth-seeded NU Lady Bulldogs in Game 1 of the Final Four. The defending champions hold a twice-to-beat advantage.

DLSU Green Spikers defeat UP Fighting Maroons, keep Final Four hopes alive

The De La Salle University Green Spikers avoided late scares from the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons to win the three-set match, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20, on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Green Spikers start strong. The Fighting Maroons threaten late in the period. The former shrug it off and pull away to earn the set. This has been the story of the game through the three sets.

La Salle jumped off to a 4-1 lead over UP after Cris Dumago rejected an attack from the latter. UP made it a one-point game, 5-4, with a Mac Millete off-the-block hit. But, Arjay Onia answered with a service ace to keep his team ahead, 7-4. Furthermore, Raymark Woo connected an attack to maintain the Green Spikers’ three-point lead, 10-7. However, Millete caught fire to tie the set at 10-all. Onia and Woo both scored to lift La Salle and give them back the lead. The latter converted one off the block as the Green Spikers led by two, 16-14, heading into the second technical timeout.

After the break, though, the Fighting Maroons gained momentum. Gian San Pascual ignited a 4-0 run that turned a 16-14 deficit into a 16-18 lead. Millete, on the other hand, continued to pound on La Salle with consecutive off-the-block attacks as UP remained ahead, 18-20. But, the Green Spikers countered the Fighting Maroons’ attack, tying it at 20-all with a block on Millete. A ball out by Jerry San Pedro gave the lead back to La Salle, 22-21. Veterans Reuel Asia and Zim Maravilla took over the finishing touches as the Green Spikers take Set 1, 25-22.

It was a see-saw battle to start the second period as the two teams remained knotted at 5-all. Errors on the part of the Diliman-based squad sent the set to the first technical timeout, with the Taft-based squad up, 8-5. The latter pushed their lead to five, 11-6, after Millete overcooked his attack and Onia served an ace. Another ace by Woo forced UP head coach Hans Chuacuco to burn a timeout as La Salle started to pull away, 15-9.

Similar to the opening set, the Fighting Maroons woke up midway through the set and threaten the Green Spikers. Back-to-back blocks by UP cut La Salle’s lead down to two, 17-15. An ace by Joshua Castillo brought them even closer, 20-19, before San Pedro hit two straight points to tie it at 21-all. Onia connected off-the-block to end the longest rally of the game and push his team to within the set, 24-23. Lastly, Reyes rejected UP to seal the set, 25-23, and take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Fighting Maroons.

The Green Spikers looked to finish the Fighting Maroons in the third set after opening an 8-3 lead heading into the first technical timeout. But, an error on La Salle brought UP to within four, 9-5. Nonetheless, the former detonated a 7-1 bomb to create the widest gap of the game, 16-6. The Fighting Maroons, though, were able to slowly cut the deficit.

UP forced three straight La Salle lapses to trim the latter’s lead to six, 18-12. Then, Castillo blocked Woo to make it a five-point game, 19-14. Moreover, a Fighting Maroon served an ace to make it a four-point game, 20-16. Millete continued to rally the maroon shirts as La Salle held on to a two-point lead, 21-19. A miscue on the side of the green shirts brought UP to within one, 21-20. However, the Green Spikers’ starting unit locked in and took over the endgame. Back-to-back blocks eventually put La Salle to match point, 24-20. Finally, Onia finished the set, 25-20, with an attack as the Green Spikers avoided a collapse.

Arjay Onia finished with 20 points on 16 attacks, two blocks, and two serves en route to the Player of the Game citation.

The DLSU Green Spikers snapped their two-game losing skid and improved to 5-8. Though chances of entering the Final Four remain slim, they look to end the eliminations with a win over the FEU Tamaraws on April 15, Sunday, 8 AM at the same venue.

DLSU Green Batters fall anew to Adamson, take home silver

The De La Salle University Green Batters finished second place in the UAAP Season 80 Baseball Tournament after suffering a sweep from the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, losing Game 2 of the Finals, 6-13, on Friday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Despite a hot start on both ends, the Green Batters, who lost Game 1 and were eager to force a Game 3, could not protect the lead as the Soaring Falcons capitalized and never looked back.

La Salle started the game on a good note, both offensively and defensively. Best Right Fielder Diego Lozano sent his team up on the scoreboard after he completed a run. Season MVP Kiko Gesmundo followed with his own run for a 2-0 La Salle lead at the top of the first inning.

The Green Batters continued to wax hot offensively, racking up more points in the third canto after three players cycled the diamond. Gesmundo scored his second run of the game off an Iggy Escaño bat. Boo Barandiaran put La Salle up by four, 4-0, while Rookie of the Year Angelo Tantuico also sent Escaño home.

After the top of the third inning, La Salle led Adamson by five, 5-0.

However, things started to change at the bottom of the third inning. Eventual Finals MVP Jerome Yenson sent two Falcons home to cut La Salle’s lead to three, 5-2. Then, Villafaña swung a good bat that allowed two more Falcons to reach the homeplate. After three innings, La Salle’s lead shrunk to one, 5-4.

Not only defensively, but also offensively did the Green Batters’ performance declined. Through the next four innings, La Salle never reached home. Despite having several opportunities to score, the San Marcelino-based squad’s defense still did not allow the Taft-based squad to at least get to the bases and regain the momentum.

Speaking of momentum, the Soaring Falcons just continued to pound on the Green Batters, scoring three more runs in the fourth inning. Despite having two quick outs, Adamson still managed to get all bases filled off a Riparip walk. Yenson’s bat sent one home as they tied the game at 5-all. Two more Falcons completed runs to give their team a 7-5 lead after four innings.

Coming from that point, top-seeded La Salle was completely shut down by second-seeded Adamson. The latter made an impossible 13-0 run to overtake and gain complete control of the former. The Soaring Falcons led, 13-5, after six innings.

However, in the seventh inning, the Green Batters were able to halt Adamson’s frenzied offense. The latter was held to zero at the bottom of the seventh inning, only their third scoreless inning. Nonetheless, it was still the same eight point deficit for La Salle.

The Green Batters momentarily found their rhythm in the eighth inning after finally ending their scoring drought. Barandiaran hit a good angle that eventually sent Paolo Salud home. La Salle, though, still trailed by seven, 6-13. Moreover, that eventually becamse the last run for La Salle.

La Salle handed Adamson three quick strikeouts at the bottom of the eighth inning. But, the Green Batters could not convert seven points at the top of the ninth inning to at least tie the game at 13-all. As a result, the game did not see a bottom of the ninth and Adamson walked away with the gold.

The Green Batters, after winning it all in Season 78 and failing to reach the Finals in Season 79, finished first runners-up in Season 80.

DLSU Green Batters fall to Adamson in Finals opener

The De La Salle University Green Batters fell back to earth after seeing their six-game winning streak come to an end in Game One of the UAAP Season 80 Baseball Finals against the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 4-14, on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

After stepping on the gas pedal in their 14-5 victory over the Soaring Falcons to end the eliminations, the Green Batters seemed to have run out of fuel to start the Finals.

The Soaring Falcons opened the first inning with a four points to quickly create distance. Bosito completed a run to give Adamson its first point. Riparip and Yenson then followed with their own runs. Carandang gave his team its fourth point. At the top of the first inning, Adamson was atop, 4-0.

The Green Batters, however, could not sustain their advantages. Salud, who was the only Lasallian to advance to the second base, eventually got tagged. Park could not send the ball away either as La Salle was scoreless to end their offensive. They trailed Adamson, 0-4, after the first inning.

In the second inning, La Salle was able to limit Adamson to just one point. Moreover, Tantuico completed a run to put his team on the scoreboard. In a quick sequence, Salinas and Acuña also finished a double batted by Salud. The Green Batters pull themselves to within two, 3-5, after two innings.

Adamson, though, could not be denied as they punctuated on La Salle’s errors and miscues defensively. Starting from the third inning all the way to the fifth inning, it was all Adamson ballgame.

Carandang scored another run for the Soaring Falcons in the third inning. Then, his team caught fire again as Castillo, Yenson, Manaig, and Villafaña all rounded the diamond in the fourth period. They erected a commanding seven-point lead, 10-3, after four innings.

Late at the bottom of the fourth inning, the Green Batters had a golden opportunity to end their scoring drought after Salud, Lozano, and Escaño filled all bases. However, Adamson’s precise defense hurt La Salle once more. Gesmundo’s swing landed exactly at the gloves of Adamson’s left fielder, consuming all three outs of his team in another scoreless inning.

The San-Marcelino based-squad continued to pile up on the Taft-based squads problems after another Soaring Falcons quadruple landed home. Benito gave them their 11th point, while a Castillo-Bosito double gave them a 10-point lead, 13-3. Yet, they were not done. Yenson completed another run as Adamson already tied La Salle’s previous total score of 14 points—in just five innings.

Meanwhile, La Salle remained scoreless at the bottom of the same inning.

The Green Batters, however, turned to defense in the sixth frame. They held the Soaring Falcons to a scoreless inning for the first time in the match. In addition, Lozano finally ended La Salle’s scoring drought after completing a run late in the period. After six innings, they remained down by 10, 4-14.

Another door was opened for La Salle after Adamson logged their second scoreless inning. However, the Green Batters could not deliver a single point in the seventh inning.

As a result of the mercy rule, La Salle lost the game to Adamson, 4-14. in seven innings.

The DLSU Green Batters look to bounce back in Game Two on Friday, 12 NN at the same venue.

BRING IT ON! DLSU Lady Spikers start Round 2 with sweep of NU Lady Bulldogs

The De La Salle University Lady Spikers opened the second round of the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Tournament with a resounding win over their first round tormentors, the National University Lady Bulldogs, 27-25, 27-25, 25-16, on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Over 3700 fans were treated with another thriller as the first two sets needed extensions to determine a winner. The Lady Spikers emerged victorious in both on come-from-behind fashions, before simply dominating the Lady Bulldogs in the third and final set.

National University jumped off to a quick 5-2 lead after a Lady Bulldog service ace. Tin Tiamzon hit a crosscourt attack to cut the deficit to two, 4-6. But, Kianna Dy committed an error as La Salle once again trailed by four, 4-8. After the first technical timeout, the Lady Spikers rallied three straight points to make it a 7-9 game. A crosscourt hit by Dy pulled themselves to within one, 10-11. However, Desiree Cheng could not tie it. The Lady Bulldogs pounded on the Lady Spikers’ errors, scoring three unanswered points to make it another four-point game, 14-10. Tiamzon connected off the block after the timeout, but National University headed to the second break ahead, 16-11. The Lady Spikers’ deficit ballooned to seven, 14-21, following consecutive errors by Cheng and Aduke Ogunsanya.

Michelle Cobb, though, scored on a fake to cut it to six, 15-21. Eventually, La Salle collected three more points, making it a 19-21 game. Cheng fired an ace to pull them even closer, 21-22, before Baron tied it at 23-all. A crucial net touch violation, however, was called on the Lady Spikers. Likewise though, the Lady Bulldogs committed an error, forcing the first extended set of the match. Aiko Urdas hit one from the right to pull her team to set point, 25-24. Nonetheless, Jaja Santiago’s service was too long. Urdas and Santiago both sent the ball out in two consecutive plays that sealed Set 1 for La Salle, 27-25.

Just like the opening set, the Lady Spikers started slowly again. With his team scoreless early in Set 2,  coach Ramil de Jesus burned an early timeout. His wards lagged, 0-4, following an ace from Risa Sato. Coming off the timeout, Baron finally got her team to the scoreboard with a crosscourt hit. May Luna, who was subbed in for Cheng, followed with her own attack. A few moments later, Luna erred a service, sending Set 2 to first technical timeout with her team trailing, 5-8. National University capitalized on La Salle’s service errors and ball-outs as the latter’s deficit grew to six, 8-14. Cheng and Ogunsanya converted  back-to-back points to make it a 10-14 game. But, the Jhocson-based squad retaliated en route to the second technical timeout.

The Taft-based squad responded with six straight points to shrink a 10-17 deficit to only a one, 16-17. Dy returned the ball to sender to knot the second set, 18-all. La Salle took the lead, 20-19, for the first time after National University committed an error. But, Joy Doromal was quick to tie it again at 21-all. De Jesus called another timeout after Santiago’s ace gave the lead back to the her team. Sato connected to push themselves to within two, 23-21. But, Dy’s service ace knotted the set anew, 23-all. Sato connected on a difficult behind-the-back attack to inch them to set point, 24-23.

Doromal, however, could not finish it as she served an error, forcing extension of Set 2. Audrey Paran’s attack went low as La Salle gained set point, 25-24. Jasmine Nabor’s attack landed in as the set was tied once again, 25-all. But, Cheng caught fire in the endgame, hitting two emphatic crosscourt attacks that ended National University’s furious rallies. Her timely hits also completed La Salle’s another comeback. The Lady Spikers took Set 2, 27-25, and held on to a commanding 2-0 lead.

Contrary to the first two sets, La Salle looked to finish National University in the third set. The former did not allow the latter to create another huge lead to begin with. Tiamzon aced one to send the third set to first technical timeout with the Lady Spikers ahead, 8-5. They doubled on the Lady Bulldogs, 12-6, forcing coach Babes Castillo to call a timeout. The Blue and Gold responded with a 6-3 run to pull them back to within three, 12-15. But, a Baron-Dy conspiracy left the latter a wide floor to punch the ball to.

The Green and White continued to capitalize on National University’s errors. Arianne Layug, who had rarely seen action in the first round, pulled La Salle to within three, 22-13. The Lady Bulldogs connected three straight points, but Tiamzon connected for a 23-16 margin. La Salle’s lead was already too huge for National University to complete the comeback. The Lady Spikers, then, claimed Set 3, 25-16, and the match, 3-0.

Graduating player Kianna Dy continued her splendid performance, finishing with 14 points on nine attacks and three serves after her 21-point outburst in their previous game. Player of the game Desiree Cheng poured in 13 points on 10 attacks.

Jaja Santiago was held to 13 points, while Risa Sato had 11 points in the losing effort.

With the win, the DLSU Lady Spikers moved to 6-2, claiming the top spot and displacing erstwhile top-seeded NU Lady Bulldogs to second. La Salle will next face the 3-5 UP Fighting Lady Maroons on Wednesday, 2 PM at the same venue.

DLSU Lady Spikers regain true form, defeat Ateneo Lady Eagles

The De La Salle University Lady Spikers defeated arch-rivals Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles in their first meeting ever post-Season 79 Finals in four sets, 25-20, 25-17, 24-26, 24-20, on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

La Salle almost had Ateneo in straight sets as the Lady Spikers were a point away from the match, 24-22. The latter was able to force a fourth set, where the defending champions decided to finish them.

La Salle started off like a house on fire, acing services and making attacks to grab a 10-3 lead. Jhoanna Maraguinot tried to bring Ateneo back with a spike off the block. A Lady Spiker error cut the Lady Eagles’ deficit to five, 6-11. Reigning and defending MVP Majoy Baron reestablished a seven point lead, 15-8 with a long attack. In the next play, she turned garbage to gold with a behind-the-head free ball that landed inside Ateneo’s floor.

Third year spiker Tin Tiamzon pushed their lead to eight, 18-10, after making an attack from the back row. The Lady Eagles tried to come back by forcing the Lady Spikers errors. Season 79 Finals MVP Desiree Cheng sent the ball out as Ateneo was only behind by five, 16-21. Further, Bea De Leon’s block cut La Salle’s lead to three, 22-19. Sophomore setter Michelle Cobb fired another ace to put them to set point, 24-19. They eventually sealed it, 25-20.

Ateneo and La Salle traded points in the early part of the second period. Deanna Wong aced a service as her team led by two, 13-11. However, the Lady Spikers countered with 10 unanswered points to bring themselves up, 21-13. Jules Samonte ended the prolonged silence of the Lady Eagles. Nonetheless, their deficit was a mountain to climb as La Salle gained the second set, 25-17.

In the third set, the Katipunan-based squad quickly controlled the first part. The Lady Eagles jumped off to a 7-3 start courtesy of a Maddie Madayag attack. An attack by Cheng followed by an ace by Aduke Ogunsanya pulled them to within three, 9-12.

The table quickly turned after that, however. The Lady Eagles, who were without their head coach Tai Bundit, caught the Lady Spikers off-guard with a 9-1 run that converted a 12-10 lead to a 21-11 balloon. They were close to completing the set, but the defending champions were not to be denied–at least at that juncture. With Cobb inefficient in the third set, coach Ramil de Jesus sent in veteran CJ Saga. La Salle were able to regroup as Baron and Dy spearheaded the defensive efforts, while Cheng and Tiamzon split the offensive tasks. As a result, they were able to surprise the Lady Eagles, detonating a 10-0 bomb that erased their led and tie the set at 21-all.

La Salle was close to completing the comeback, with the Lady Spikers only a point away from the match, 24-22. De Jesus brought back Cobb to set the final play, but, she and Baron failed to connect. The Taft-based squad were called a double contact violation. Momentum quickly shifted to Ateneo, with the Lady Eagles converting three straight points to take the set, 26-24, and avoid the huge collapse and a sweep.

In the fourth and final set, nonetheless, the Green and White were more than ever determined to finish the Blue and White. Midway through the set, La Salle and Ateneo were neck-and-neck. However, Dy sparked a 7-3 run that erected an 18-13 lead from an 11-11 knot. The Lady Spikers maintained the five-point distance up to the end as they claimed the set, 25-20, and the match, 3-1.

Graduating player Kim Dy led La Salle with her season-high 21 points on 11 attacks, seven blocks, and three aces. Four other Lady Spikers finished in double figures with Tin Tiamzon getting 13, Desiree Cheng scoring 11, and Majoy Baron and Aduke Ogunsanya earning 10 apiece.

On the other hand, Jhoanna Maraguinot paced the Lady Eagles with 13 points, while Bea De Leon added 11 points.

The Lady Spikers, who received criticism from their head coach himself for playing “pambarangay” level in their bitter loss to Adamson last weekend, showed true form en route to the win. They stayed at second place, tied with FEU, with a 5-2 record at the end of the first round.

DLSU Green Spikers end first round with three-set loss to Ateneo

The De La Salle University Green Spikers lost to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in straight sets, 16-25, 26-28, 22-25, on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Green Spikers were able to match the intensity of the Blue Eagles in the early part of each set. However, the defending champions were too much to handle as La Salle committed mental lapses to end the periods.

La Salle jumped off to a quick 3-0 lead. Third year setter Wayne Marco set up JD Delos Reyes for an attack, but UAAP MVP Marck Espejo answered with his own. Veteran hitter Raymark Woo fumbled a service as Ateneo closed in, 5-3. Espejo, then tied it at 5-all with back-to-back aces. The Blue Eagles marched on to the first technical timeout with an 8-7 lead over the Green Spikers. The latter knotted the set again, 9-9, following a Karl Baysa ball out. Ateneo capitalized La Salle’s errors to put them up by four, 15-11. They led by as much as five, 17-12, with another Green Spiker error. La Salle found themselves on a deep hole as they eventually dropped the set, 16-24.

The protagonists exchanged almost every point to start the second set. They were neck-and-neck up to the first technical timeout with La Salle leading, 8-7. Espejo’s error in his attack gave the Taft-based squad a 9-7 lead. However, Arjay Onia and Woo also committed errors on their end as Ateneo tied it at 9-all. The two teams continued to trade points as La Salle remained ahead at the second break, 16-15. The Green Spikers had a three-point lead, 18-15, before the Blue Eagles scored three consecutive.

With the set still tied at 21-all, Woo found an opening to the Katipunan-based squad’s floor defense. Onia followed it up with a block to put La Salle a 23-21 advantage. However, a service ace by Ron Medalla tied it at 23-all. An Ateneo service error put La Salle to set point, but Gian Glorioso extended the set, 24-all. The Blue Eagles sent the ball out on an attack as La Salle looked to close the set. However, the former scored three straight points to complete the comeback and steal Set 2 from La Salle, 28-26.

Ateneo started the final set with a 7-3 lead over La Salle. They were able to keep the lead as the Green Spikers trailed heading into the second technical timeout, 11-16. Espejo pushed their lead to six, 11-17. But, La Salle quickly gained back the momentum midway through the set. A block by Woo and an Ateneo error pulled them to within one, 16-17. Another rejection by Woo tied it, 18-all. Dumago kept the Green Spikers within striking distance with a crosscourt hit. However, Ateneo broke away, scored three consecutive points to win the set, 25-22, and the match. 3-0.

Espejo paced Ateneo with a game-high 21 points on 18 attacks and three serves. On the other hand, Woo and Onia led La Salle with 11 and 10 in the losing effort.

Green Spikers head coach Norman Miguel lamented his wards’ lack of mental preparation. “Hindi naging prepared mentally yung mga bata. Parang sobrang taas ng expectations nila sa Ateneo.” While he acknowledged that the Blue Eagles are the defending champions, he wanted the Green Spikers to put themselves at the same level as them. “Para sa akin, ang thinking mo dapat is magkalevel na lang kayo. Pantay lang.”

Nonetheless, he described this game as part of the process of maturity.

The loss placed the DLSU Green Spikers to 3-4, tied with UST at fourth place at the tail of the first round of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Volleyball Tournament. They are currently on pace with their Final Four hopes.

Slowly we’re getting there. May mga lapses pa, pero ganun talaga. Kailangan pagdaanan yung mga ganun. Kasi kung hindi nila pagdadaanan yun, parang nandun ka lang sa dati. Walang growth.

Ngayon, nakikita ko na yung growth. Tiya-tiyagain mo na lang talaga.”

DLSU Green Booters fall to UP for third loss of the season

The De La Salle University Green Booters slid to 3-0-3 after losing their second straight game, 0-2, to the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Immediately, the Diliman-based squad showed its defensive plays on the Taft-based squad. La Salle could not buy a score. But UP also failed to find the end of the net.

In the 18th minute, though, the Fighting Maroons shifted their offense as Miggy Clarino received an assist. He took it and made it at the left corner to put his team up, 1-0.

La Salle had some opportunity to tie the game just a few minutes after UP scored. However, Mathew Custodio could not get the Green Booters on the scoreboard. As they could not fend off their offensive woes, they, instead, relied on defense to hold the Fighting Maroons. Three minutes were added in the first half, but La Salle still trailed UP, 0-1, at the end.

Into the second half, action was more intense between the two teams as neither allowed the other to score. It was an up-and-down affair almost through the rest of the game. La Salle had chances to equalize at the 56th minute, but Cristian Zubiri’s kick went wide. Nonetheless, UP as well failed to increment as Kintaro Miyagi missed the mark at the 66th minute.

As time was nearly approaching zero, the opponents seemed to have already smelled victory as La Salle tended to relax. The state university took advantage of it, with Miyagi finally nailing one, UP’s second, just a few feet outside the box at the 87th minute.

The game extended for five more minutes. To little avail, though, the Green Booters remained scoreless at full time.

The DLSU Green Booters sit at fourth place, only behind UP (5-1-0), UST (4-1-0), and Ateneo (3-0-2). They are looking to bounce back and get their fourth win as they face the NU Bulldogs (2-1-3) on Saturday, 5 PM at the same venue.

DLSU Green Booters roll past UE for third win

The De La Salle University Green Booters defeated the University of the East Red Warriors, 3-2, on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

The first 30 minutes of the ball game was just an up-and-down battle between the two teams as neither was able to score. In the last 15 minutes of the first half, however, things started to change.

La Salle earned its first goal of the game after Jed Diamante scored off a dish at the 31′ mark.

However, it did not take so long for UE to counter. Red Warrior Mar Diano found a huge hole in the defense of the Green Booters and took the opportunity. He knotted the game, 1-all, with a goal at the 38′ mark. And just a couple of minutes having gone by, his teammate Regil Galaura received the ball and scored a goal. That put the Recto-based squad up by one, 2-1, at the 40′ mark.

La Salle answered UE’s rally with a goal as Chris Lawless launched an attack at the 45′ + 1 mark. The first half ended with the two teams tied at 2-all.

Early in the second half, the Green Booters immediately regained the lead after Paolo Perez (49′) scored the third goal of La Salle and what would be the final goal of the game.

The protagonists still had some chances to add to their scores. However, neither would send the ball to the net in the remaining minutes. La Salle pulled away with a score of 3-2 as soon as the buzzer sounded.

The DLSU Green Booters bounced back from their loss to arch-rivals Ateneo. The win took them back on track with a 3-1 win-loss record, good for solo third place. They will try to get their fourth win in five outings when they face second-placer UST on Sunday, 1:30 PM at the same venue.

DLSU Lady Spikers suffer first loss in Season 80

The De La Salle University Lady Spikers yielded to the National University Lady Bulldogs in five thrilling sets, 24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 17-25, 14-16, on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

La Salle trailed early in the opening set, 2-5, after Desiree Cheng fumbled a service. Two attacks by Kim Dy and one from Aduke Ogunsanya pulled them to within one, 5-6. But, Jaja Santiago answered with two of her 20 attacks as National U headed to first technical timeout ahead by two, 8-6. Audrey Paran, who finished with 10 points, hit one from the left to bring the Lady Bulldogs up by three, 11-8. La Salle slowly got back and tied the set at 12-all following miscues on the part of NU. However, the latter converted four points to take the advantage before the second technical timeout, 16-12.

The Lady Bulldogs extended their lead to its maximum, 21-14, as they capitalized on the Lady Spikers’ errors. A service ace by Michelle Cobb pulled them to within one, 22-23, before a Paran error tied it. Risa Sato pushed NU to set point, 24-23, but her teammate Jorelle Singh erred a service. Nonetheless, Aiko Urdas scored off the block as La Salle dropped Set 1, 24-26.

Just like Set 1, the Lady Spikers started poorly in the second set as Urdas pushed the Lady Bulldogs to an 8-3 lead heading into the first technical timeout. With La Salle trailing NU, 7-9, Cheng overhit one of her attacks, but her teammates made up for it with two blocks by Ogunsanya and Baron. A quick attack by the latter tied the set at 12-all. Then, Dy hit another one as La Salle took the lead, 13-12. Tiamzon also punched one from the left wing.

The Lady Bulldogs, however, scored three consecutive points to erase a 15-12 La Salle lead. They retook the lead with a Santiago attack from the right wing. May Luna dropped the ball on the NU floor to give La Salle back the lead, 20-19. Another Luna spike pushed it to 22-19. Baron, the reigning MVP, rejected an NU attack to seal Set 2 for La Salle, 25-19.

The Lady Spikers maintained their energy and carried the momentum in the third set. La Salle jumped off to a 5-3 lead early in the set following a Dy attack. Just shortly, however, Santiago scored two straight points to give NU an 8-7 lead at the first technical timeout. The Lady Bulldogs took care of the lead but Roselyn Doria’s attack landed outside. Baron, then, capitalizes with a drop ball as La Salle ties the set at 11-all. Urdas scored off the blockers to bring back the lead to the Jhocson-based squad, 14-13.

A double contact violation was called on the Taft-based squad as the set headed into the second technical timeout with the opponents leading, 16-13. Ogunsanya attacks the defenders, followed by a punch by Arriane Layug to tie it again at 17-all. Another attack by Ogunsanya gave La Salle the lead, 18-17. Cheng, the Season 79 Finals MVP, aced a service to push La Salle’s advantage, 21-19. Layug spiked the ball to far as NU threatened, 22-23. However, Baron attacked one from the middle, then, Luna went for the exclamation point. La Salle claimed Set 3, 25-22.

In the fourth set, though, La Salle seemed to have lost some energy. The Lady Spikers trailed the Lady Bulldogs, 4-10, just a few moments after the first technical timeout. Dy sliced one through the walls of NU to pull La Salle to within four, 7-11. Cheng, however, got denied as NU kept their four-point lead heading into the second break, 16-12. Layug hit a crosscourt attack to pull them back to within two, 16-18, but the Lady Bulldogs answered with four points capped by a rejection on Tin Tiamzon. An error by the Lady Spikers and an ace by a Lady Bulldog gave the latter the fourth set, 25-17.

The Lady Spikers came alive in the fifth set, where Santiago and Sato were benched by NU head coach Raymund Castillo in the early part of the decider. Tiamzon attacked the ball from her favorite spot, the left frontline, as La Salle roused to a 7-4 start. Cheng’s crosscourt hit maintained a three-point advantage, 10-7. She, then, aced one to put them to a 12-8 advantage over NU before the two Lady Bulldogs were subbed in. With Santiago and Sato well-rested, the Lady Bulldogs were able to force the Lady Spikers some errors. NU was able to erase the deficit following a Santiago attack from the middle. Santiago, again, hit one as NU was within one, 14-13, but Luna countered with a thunderous spike for a 14-all set. Santiago punched another one, before Sato aced a service to give NU the deciding set, 16-14.

Jaja Santiago led the Lady Bulldogs with 27 huge points on 20 attacks, four blocks, and three aces. Three more Lady Bulldogs finished in double figures as Sato scored 15 markers. Paran and Urdas finished with 10 points apiece. On the other hand, May Luna, who had rarely seen action in the first three games, led the Lady Spikers with 12 points. Kim Dy and Majoy Baron added 11 apiece in the losing effort.

The DLSU Lady Spikers won their first three games against UST, UP, and FEU, with two five-setters against the Espana and Morayta-based squads. Unfortunately, the defending champions could not fend off the Lady Bulldogs, who had also won their first three games against AdU, ADMU, and UE. The loss dropped La Salle to 3-1, good for second place, with three more games to play in the first round. They will play winless UE Lady Warriors on Wednesday, 4 PM at the same venue.