Late defensive lapse against Ateneo costs Green Booters elusive title

Photo by: Drea Mateo

The drought continues for the Green-and-White after the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters fell short in their championship match against their archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles yesterday, May 16 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Ninety minutes was almost enough to determine the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football champions as the Green Booters looked to hang on to their slim 1-0 edge against the Blue Eagles. However, just right after four minutes of time was added in the regulation, a Jarvey Gayoso stunner off a costly defensive error tied the game at 1-all. That paved way to an extra time, where Ateneo overtook La Salle to steal the title.

The entire La Salle squad made a good effort in disrupting Ateneo’s offense, not allowing the ball to go to back of the net even with a series of corners and free kicks towards the break. The first half ended with neither team producing a goal.

Riding on the momentum they built from the first half, the Taft-based squad spit fire after another, but AJ Arcilla proved why he was hailed Best Goalkeeper this season.

At the 78th minute, the Green Booters finally struck first with a hard-earned strike from Mohammad Almohjili. Coming off the counterattack, the rookie striker ran past two defenders to tally another goal to his name.

Ateneo refused to wave the white flag and continued to step on the gas pedal, creating chances after chances. While La Salle thought the championship was secured under their belt, Jarvey Gayoso deemed otherwise. The eventual Season MVP and Finals MVP just needed one out of the four minutes added time to bring his team back in contention with a conversion from a through ball that caught the defenders off-guard. He almost made it double, but Mig Brosoto refused to concede the match, coming up with a crucial back-to-back save.

It was at the 99th minute that allowed the Katipunan-based squad to put one hand on the trophy following a Julian Roxas header. Getting the rebound off a saved attempt, Luca Alleje showed composure and kicked up a spectacular cross that made it easy for Roxas to put the go-ahead goal for Ateneo.

While the Green-and-White showed heart and fought hard until the last whistle, they still failed to equalize the game, handing the gold to the opposing squad.

The loss extended the Green Booters’ waiting game as they continue to try to snap their title drought. However, on the bright side, three Lasallians garnered individual awards with Shanden Vergara getting the Rookie of the Year award, graduating senior Yoshi Koizumi bagging the Best Defender prize, and team captain Jed Diamante claiming the back-to-back Best Midfielder award.

The Green Booters will miss the services of Koizumi, Alfonso Montelibano, and Gyan de Vera. Nevertheless, with 13 rookies in their current lineup, the future looks bright for the Green-and-White after the gained experience from this season.

UAAP Season 81 Finals Team Preview: DLSU Green Booters

Photo by: Trinity Matias

In their last outing, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters stunned the defending champions UP Fighting Maroons to make their comeback to the biggest stage of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football tournament.

The Taft-based squad returned the favor to Diliman after the Fighting Maroons booted La Salle out in the semifinals last season. The victory gave the Green Booters not only their first finals appearance since Season 77 but also another chance to end their 20-year championship drought.

Ever since winning consecutively in Seasons 59 and 60, the Green Booters only had a couple of golden opportunities of adding one more to their three titles. However, they missed both as they lost to Ateneo in Season 68 and to FEU in Season 77. Could third time be a charm for La Salle in Season 81?

The Green-and-White are set to face their archrivals, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, who are as well eager to bring the trophy back to Katipunan after failing to defend their title. The Blue-and-White were dethroned by UST last season.

A revamped La Salle team looked to surprise their opponents early into the season. Led by team captain Jed Diamante and a slew of rookies, the Green Booters finished the first round at second place with a record of 4-0-3. They then carried on with a final elimination card of 8-1-5.

Ironically, they suffered their only second round losses at the hands of their eventual playoff opponents, UP and ADMU.

In his team’s return to the championship round, Diamante still feels surreal. “It still feels surreal, but the team made it happen,” he said. The former Rookie of the Year will be playing in the Finals for the first time in his four-year career with the Green Booters. He continued, “We are excited to give our all for the community in this momentous match.”

The Green Booters’ captain admired the team’s desire to win. “Everyone wants it. Everyone is willing to sacrifice everything.” This statement reflected the Green Booters latest performance as they enter the Finals on a five-game run bridging Round 2 and the semis.

He specifically pointed out that in their last match against UP, “No one stopped until the final whistle.”

The top-seed Blue Eagles might be a tall order for Diamante and his teammates. Led by the league’s top scorer Jarvey Gayoso, Ateneo also banner their Finals experience, having been in the grand stage thrice over the last six seasons, and winning twice.

However, Diamante described the Finals as “a game of mentality.” The Green Booters are always capable of upsetting any opponent at any given time. He believes that they simply have to have the bigger heart on the pitch in order to win it all.

Support the DLSU Green Booters in their final game of the season tomorrow, May 16, 4:30 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Lady Spikers snap Ateneo’s 10-game winning streak in straight sets

Photo By: Karl Dela Cruz

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers reasserted dominance over the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles in straight sets, 25-17, 25-13, 25-23, on April 13, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The match was a key contest for both squads as the playoffs draw closer. With tournament dominance up for grabs, both teams got off to a solid start. The Lady Eagles and Lady Spikers went blow-for-blow in the early part of the set. But the defending champions soon flipped the switch and blasted the Katipunan-based squad to pull ahead.

Up by a single point, 14-13, the Lady Spikers went on a blistering 9-1 run to pull ahead 23-14, capped by a hammer from team captain Desiree Cheng. The stunning turn of events got the better of the Lady Eagles, dropping the ball and putting DLSU at set point, 24-14. Ateneo tried to extend their lifeline a little longer, saving three set points, 24-17, before eventually succumbing to La Salle, 25-17.

The Lady Spikers continued their roll in the second frame pulling ahead early. DLSU grabbed an 11-4 lead before Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro tried to ice the Lady Spikers’ momentum with a timeout but to no avail. DLSU continued to pounce on the rattled Lady Eagles and never looked back, closing the set swiftly, 25-13.

The third set featured much of the same trend from the previous sets. The Taft-based squad showed control over their rivals, up as much as six, 22-16, near the end of the third set. The match was as good as over but the Lady Eagles had other plans. Ateneo mounted a last ditch effort to save the match, cutting the deficit to a single point, 23-22.

After a smooth ride to the third set, tensions began to rise for the Lady Spikers as the Lady Eagles was in striking distance. La Salle caught a lucky break as an error by Deanna Wong put them at match point, 24-22. But just as the match appeared to be over, a service error by Des Clemente left the door open for the Lady Eagles, 24-23. Ateneo tried to hold on to tie the set but a hit from Aduke Ogunsanya put the final nail in the coffin, 25-23.

The Lady Spikers put on a clinic on the defensive end with six blocks against none for Ateneo. The veterans took center stage and was a key component in winning the match. May Luna was brilliant as La Salle outscored Ateneo, 35-17, in two sets while she was on the floor. Jolina Dela Cruz led the team in scoring with 14 markers while Clemente and Ogunsanya both had 10 apiece. CJ Saga earned Player of the Game honors tallying 21 excellent digs and 14 excellent receptions.

Catch the Lady Spikers as the try to extend their win streak against the Lady Warriors on April 24, Wednesday, 2PM at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Green Batters clinch Baseball title behind Gesmundo’s clutch homer

Co-written by: Genrev Villamin
Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

BULLSEYE! The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters are UAAP champions once again after triumphing in the winner-take-all Game 3 of the Season 81 Baseball Finals against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 11-9, on Friday, April 5, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

A do-or-die match erstwhile taken control of by the Green-and-White suddenly became anybody’s game. La Salle finally came to their senses and broke their prolonged silence by sending Boo Barandiaran home. The Green Batters then leaned on an Anton Acuña two-run single that pushed their lead to 9-5 at the top of the eighth inning.

Ateneo stayed at the backseat in the first seven innings, but it only took a short span of sequences for them to stage their own comeback. A pop-fly by Gino Altomonte sent Macasaet home, leaving the Lasallian crowd stunned and causing a ruckus in the Atenean side, as the Blue Eagles knotted it at 9-all. After everything that had happened, the game was headed to an instant classic.

The Green Batters made sure to strike at least one in what could be their last shot at the scoreboard. Instead, they found themselves on a dangerous two outs after Barandiaran’s and team captain Iggy Escaño’s full swings landed straight to the Katipunan. Diego Lozano was the lone bright spot at the first base.

All anxious, prayers were being lifted by both sides as to what would happen in the next set of events. With all eyes on him and the pressure intensifying, Kiko Gesmundo reconfirmed to everybody why he was the reigning and defending UAAP MVP. He fired a miraculous two-run homer that delivered him and Lozano back home, causing a complete pandemonium all over the stadium, and most importantly, giving them the go-ahead 11-9 lead.

To start the game, the Green Batters wasted no time in putting themselves up on the scoreboard. With Paolo Salud, Lozano, and Gesmundo loading all of La Salle’s bases at the top of the first inning, Tuwi Park got a walk to send Salud home. Anton Rosas then swung a sacrificial one far right to bring Lozano back home for a 2-0 lead as La Salle’s offense also ended.

La Salle’s first surprise came in after head coach Joseph Orillana fielded Gesmundo at the mound. Gesmundo’s pitching made quick work of Ateneo’s batters as the Blue Eagles ended their offense scoreless.

Lozano’s walk, which followed Season 80 ROY Angelo Tantuico and Salud’s singles filled La Salle’s bases once again. Barandiaran then capitalized by hitting it straight to the center field, which sent Tantuico home. On the defensive side, a pitcher-catcher miscue committed by Gesmundo and Rosas allowed Altomonte to race to the home plate.

A sacrifice bunt by Rosas inched Gesmundo one base away from home, while also bringing Park to the second base. Salud then returned the favor by sending Gesmundo home on a low swing to the left field. Come Ateneo’s offensive, La Salle forced three quick outs against the Blue Eagles to maintain a 4-1 distance after three innings.

The Taft-based squad continued their scoring spree at the top of the fourth inning. Back-to-back fumbles by the Katipunan-based defenders sent Barandiaran and team captain Iggy Escaño home in different plays. La Salle pushed their lead to 6-1, which they maintained after earning their first scoreless offensive in the fifth inning.

Things started to get interesting at the bottom of the same inning, where Ateneo’s aggressiveness began to heat up. The Blue Eagles pulled back to within three, 3-6, following a two-run batted in by Tan. On the other hand, the Green Batters seemed to have cooled off after laying down another egg at the top of the sixth inning.

Park missed a Mallari hit at the bottom of the sixth, allowing Bitong to sprint back to their bench. Macasaet then brought Mallari back as Ateneo pounded their way back into the game, suddenly trailing by only one point, 5-6.

Although they were able to defend and keep their lead, La Salle continued to shoot zeroes in the seventh inning. Both teams produced nothing in a prologue to what eventually turned out to be dramatic and heart-stopping eighth and ninth innings.

Barandiaran will leave the Green Batters with the Best Hitter award, while Gesmundo is the uncontested Finals MVP. Escaño bagged the Most RBIs Made award. Lastly, Lozano claimed the Best Slugger, Most Home Runs, and Season MVP awards.

Green Booters still in quest for a win after losing against Ateneo

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters remain hunting for a win in Round 2 of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament after suffering their fifth loss at the hands of archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 1-3, earlier at the FEU Fern Diliman.

In their first round encounter, the Green Booters logged a 2-1 victory over the Blue Eagles.

The Taft-based squad looked to pick up where they left off as they grabbed the lead early in the game. Mauro Acot made an extraordinary long-ranger at the 10th minute. However, the Katipunan-based squad was quick to counter. Ateneo top-scorer Jarvey Gayoso put up his equalizer just six minutes later.

Rupert Baña and Mark Nacional connected at the 42nd minute as the Blue Eagles overtook the Green Booters, 2-1. Furthermore, Gayoso scored his second goal late at the 83rd minute as La Salle sank to 1-3.

The Green Booters dropped to a win-loss record of 4-1-5 with 13 points.

They will face the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Sunday, 9 AM, at the same venue.

Green Batters fall short in Game 2 as Ateneo forces sudden death

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters dropped a potential title-clinching Game 2 against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 3-7, on Tuesday, April 2, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

La Salle had a cold offense to start the top of the first inning as they were held scoreless. On the other hand, Banzon and Macasaet went to the third and bases, respectively, following a double from the latter. Gino Tantuico connected on a single to send his teammates home and put Ateneo on the scoreboard, 2-0.

In the third inning, the Green Batters defensively stepped up their game as Diego Lozano finally put La Salle likewise on the scoreboard, 1-2. Team captain Iggy Escaño swung a dangerous one and what could have been an easy catch for Ateneo. However, two Blue Eagles on the right field committed a miscue as Lozano escaped with a run to the home plate. Reigning UAAP MVP Kiko Gesmundo followed it up with a shot deep to the center that sent Boo Barandiaran home and tied things up at 2-all.

Ateneo answered right away at the bottom of the same inning. Tantuico hit a single as Macasaet rushed to the third base. Tan sent Macasaet home with his own single, before a bunt Bitong got Tantuico running to the home plate. Another bunt by Andaya almost allowed a complete rotation by Altomonte, but a double play by the Green Batters prevented him and ended their offense. La Salle trailed Ateneo, 2-4, after three innings.

Reigning ROY Angelo Tantuico opted for a sacrifice bunt to send Mark Evangelista and Anton Rosas to third and second bases, respectively, in the fourth inning. However, the Taft-based squad could not capitalize as an easy catch on Paolo Salud’s fly ball and a strikeout on Lozano ended La Salle’s inning scoreless.

On the other hand, Mallari started the Blue Eagles’ offense with a double. Macasaet also swung a double as he and Mallari switched positions. Ateneo led La Salle, 5-2, after four innings.

The Green Batters continued to produce blanks in the next four innings. Nevertheless, they were able to hold the Blue Eagles scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings to keep themselves within striking distance.

However, Ateneo saw an opportunity at the bottom of the seventh inning to score two more points as Tantuico hit a two-run homer. The score stabilized during the eighth inning with Ateneo having a comfortable lead of five points.

With their backs against the wall and a four-run deficit entering the top of the ninth inning, La Salle did not want to back down just yet. Lozano earned a walk, and then followed it up with an escape to steal the second base. Barandiaran sent Lozano home as La Salle’s offense finally woke up. Unfortunately, their stand proved to be the last as the Blue Eagles were able to tag Barandiaran and end the game to their favor, 7-3.

The DLSU Green Batters will face the Blue Eagles one last time on Friday, April 5, 12 NN at the same venue, with the winner taking the UAAP Season 81 Baseball title.

Green Batters ‘got to want it even more’ in potential title-clincher

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

Team captain Iggy Escaño and the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters moved to within a win away from clinching the UAAP Season 81 Baseball title after pulling out an impressive victory against their archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles in Game 1 of the Finals last Friday, March 29, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

‘A tough battle as expected’

Those who watched the first game live at the venue and on livestreams were presented with a low-scoring ballgame in the first five innings, before things spiced up in the next four. La Salle and Ateneo engaged in a highly defensive match as neither wanted to give up a crucial Game 1 victory to the other.

Escaño described the finals-opener as “a tough battle as we expected it to be.” Although they were coming into it with a six-game winning streak, the captain of the Green Batters reminded his team to come ready and really wanting to win.

Clearly, with no less than the championship on the offering, who would not come ready and really wanting to win? So, Escaño told the team “that we just had to want it more.”

And that hunger translated after the Green Batters hung on to win it in a suspense ending. “I think we really showed that in the end even when they were trying to make a comeback. We didn’t let up and kept fighting to get that win,” Escaño shared.

Next man up

La Salle and Ateneo not only had to wrestle in a Baseball match, but also had to play it under the burning heat of the sun…for just around four hours.

It was not only a battle of strength and speed among others, but also a battle of endurance. “The conditions were really tough with the extreme heat, and a lot of were badly cramping up,” said Escaño, whose team saw three pitchers, Luis Miñana, Boo Barandiaran, and Diego Lozano one by one cramp up late in the game.

He added, “I liked how people in the team stepped up when we needed to, especially the pitchers. When one by one they started going down with cramps, the next guy was always ready to get the job done.”

It was a testament to how La Salle wanted to claim Game 1 more, and that alone was made Escaño a proud leader. “I’m proud of my team for fighting through it and giving everything they had to get that win.”

Barandiaran replaced Miñana at the top of the seventh inning after the rookie pitcher suffered from cramps. In an instant, however, the Blue Eagles were quick to adjust to Barandiaran’s pitches as they finally put themselves up in the scoreboard with two runs. On the other hand, the Green Batters were silenced at the bottom of the same inning.

Regardless, Barandiaran was able to make his adjustments as the Taft-based squad returned the favor to Katipunan with four runs in the eighth inning, including a Superman-unleashing homerun by Escaño. “Our offense woke up a little bit late though in that game, and I feel like we can do a better job of scoring more runs earlier in the game.

Later in the game, Barandiaran was replaced by Lozano, who was eventually also replaced by Arvin Herrera. “Our pitching and defense were really good through the most part of the game.”

Who wants it more?

Now that everything in Game 1 is done, the Green Batters set their eyes on what could be their last and sweetest game in the UAAP Season 81—the series closer and the championship clincher.

An improved hitting team and four hours of play under a more intense heat of the sun are just some of the things that they can expect in Game 2. And for Escaño, “Now knowing the conditions we’re going to play in, we’re all coming in more prepared.”

He added, “I feel like our bodies will definitely be ready for whatever Game 2 may bring.”

Escaño was least surprised when Ateneo held their final stand at the top of the ninth inning, pulling to within two after being down by seven. “I can’t say that I was surprised by their rally because I knew a team like Ateneo wasn’t going to go down without a fight, especially with stakes this high.”

They did it in the first six innings of the game. “We were able to hold them scoreless, and that’s tough to do with a hitting team such as Ateneo,” Escaño said. Now, the focus is how they can keep their defense as sharp as that.

But just as he would always say, “I knew my team was ready for that and I had full confidence and trust in my teammates at that moment that we could come out with the win even during that rally.”

La Salle may have taken Game 1, but it is not over until it is over, and now is definitely not the time to relax. The Green Batters expect Ateneo to go into Game 2 wanting to force a winner-takes-all match on Friday.

He would always remind his teammates to come in with a greater desire to win, but Escaño simply believes that they have already prepared well and it will just be a matter of who wants it more.

“That’s what it’s really all about. As I said before, I know this team has what it takes to bring that championship home and tomorrow, I’m confident that we’re going to prove that to everybody.”

Green Batters move one win away from claiming Baseball title

Co-written by: Genrev Villamin
Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

After four hours of play under the heat of the sun, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters drew first blood in the UAAP Season 81 Baseball Finals to move one win away from claiming the championship.

La Salle defeated archrivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 9-7, in Game 1 of the best-of-three series last Friday, March 29, at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The Green Batters and the Blue Eagles engaged in a low-scoring match as the Season 80 first runners-up held on to a 1-0 lead after five innings. The latter remained blank after their offensive in the sixth inning. At the bottom of the same inning, things started to spice up for the Green Batters.

First, a sacrifice bunt by Tuwi Park brought Pineda to second base. Rosas then hit a double with an RBI that sent Pineda home. Paolo Salud scored a single with an RBI to bring Rosas home and Angelo Tantuico to second base. Diego Lozano eventually loaded all bases for DLSU. Back-to-back walks from Boo Barandiaran brought Tantuico and Salud home and gave La Salle a 5-0 edge over Ateneo.

Rookie pitcher Luis Miñana suffered from cramps in the seventh inning, and the Blue Eagles capitalized. They cut their deficit to three after finally putting themselves on the scoreboard, 2-5. However, they could not read Barandiaran as soon as he made adjustments in the following inning.

The Taft-based squad looked to pull away at the bottom of the eighth inning. Lozano started it off with a double followed by a single from Barandiaran. Team captain Iggy Escaño cleared the bases after hitting a home run that also sent Lozano and Barandiaran home. Kiko Gesmundo scored a single before an RBI by Rosas sent the UAAP Season 80 MVP home. After eight innings, La Salle erected a huge seven-run lead over Ateneo, 9-2.

The Blue Eagles put up their last stand at the top of the ninth inning. Andaya, Mallari, and Banzon each hit singles to load all bases. Macasaet sent Andaya home off a pitch from Lozano, who replaced Barandiaran. With all their bases still loaded, Tantuico hit a grand slam. All of a sudden, the crowd were into a suspense ending as Ateneo pulled to within only two runs behind, 9-7. However, the Green Batters would not be denied as they were able to tag the last hitter from Katipunan to seal Game 1.

Support the DLSU Green Batters as they look to end the series and claim the championship tomorrow, April 2, 12 NN at the same venue.

UAAP Season 81 Finals Team Preview: DLSU Green Batters

Photo by: Jennifer Serrano

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Batters have always placed an emphasis on ‘redemption’ in their current run in the UAAP Season 81 Baseball Tournament. With memories of the shock loss in the Finals last season still vivid for most of them, the Green Batters entered this season hungry to redeem themselves and reclaim what should have been for them.

Around a year later, the Green Batters finish the elimination round with a string of six consecutive wins, including a clean slate in Round 2 and an average margin of 13 runs over their last three games. They return to the championship stage where they can show what being hungry for redemption looks like.

A lineup like no other

La Salle will be bannering strong lineup built around the core of last season’s silver medalists, including team captain Iggy Escaño, reigning UAAP MVP Kiko Gesmundo, and veterans Diego Lozano and Boo Barandiaran.

“We’ve shown this season that our offense can put up runs and string hits against any pitcher in the league,” the team captain confidently shared. He added that aside from their hitters, the Green Batters also boast of a deep pitching lineup. “We have a good number of guys that can come in to pitch at any given situation and help us get the outs we need.”

No less than head coach Joseph Orillana shared the same assessment of his team. “Strength nila ang pitching at hitting. Matibay ang pitchers ko. Matibay ang hitters ko.” He added, “Kalaban lang naman nila yung sarili nila. The rest nasa sa kanila na.”

Escaño admitted that what usually hurts them is “our own errors or lack of execution. It’s very important that we limit those and play our game.”

A lineup like no other can go down to drain if the Green Batters fail to execute. Wary of their weaknesses, Orillana first wants to see the Green Batters play on both ends without pressure.

Play simple Baseball

The Finals, the dream run of every team, means everything for those who reach this far. Athletes from both squads are expected to pour out and leave everything in this series. For Orillana, he reminds his wards to play as if it was just another stretch of regular games. “Wag isipin na championship ito. Kung paano sila lumaban nung eliminations, ganun lang din ang approach dito.”

Wary of their tendencies, the only other thing he asks of the Green Batters is to play simple Baseball. The former national team standout said, “Wala na dapat masyadong ingredients sa laro nila kasi malakas na sila. Simple Baseball, okay na yun.”

The long-time Green Batters’ tactician rued unnatural movements during their championship run last season. “Ang nangyayari kasi, hindi na nagiging natural dahil may TV na. Dinadagdagan nila ng arte. Wala na dapat extra movements na parang hindi nila ginagawa sa eliminations.”

The DLSU Green Batters look to draw first blood Game 1 of their Finals series against their archrivals Ateneo Blue Eagles tomorrow, March 29, 12 NN at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Escaño closed, “The mindset tomorrow is to come in with a winning mentality. We believe in our team. The hunger that this team has coupled with our belief in one another is what will bring that championship home this year. We’re focused on proving that to everyone this Finals.”

Green Spikers surrender once more to archrivals Blue Eagles

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Spikers suffered a straight-set defeat from the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles, 22-25, 20-25, 20-25, earlier today at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The first set was a close one, where both teams battled hard to get the win. La Salle looked like a real team as they put out plays that helped made the game competitive. However, Ateneo’s Tony Koyfman displayed his dominance as the Blue Eagles took the first set away from the Green Spikers, 25-22.

The Taft-based squad tried to turn things around to start the second set. Billie Anima kept his team within striking distance. However, Chumason Njigha joined Koyfman and Ateneo’s rally to create a six-point lead, 15-9. Keiffer Reyes stopped the bleeding as the Green and White started a run of their own with him and team captain Cris Dumago leading the charge. However, a late barrage of offensive attacks put the Blue and White up by five, 22-17. Ateneo did not look back as La Salle sunk by two sets, 20-25.

The Green Spikers could not find their rhythm in the third set as they trailed, 1-8, at the first technical timeout. On the other hand, the Blue Eagles continued to ride their momentum in the third set. Crosscourt hits by Dumago kept La Salle within striking distance, 12-16. The Taft-based squad were able to pull to within two, 14-16. However, they could not capitalize as Koyfman and Njigha shut the door on La Salle, 25-20.

The DLSU Green Spikers (3-6) will try to put themselves back in the winning column when they face the UE Red Warriors on Sunday, March 31, 10 AM at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.