DYNASTY! Lady Booters vanquish FEU to claim third straight title

Photo by: Dara Evangelista

Poised to win it all in the championship match, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Booters entered their final game of the season brimming with confidence as they faced the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws.

Indeed after 90 minutes of ball game, the Lady Booters delivered, pulling a 2-0 win over their rivals to be hailed as the champions of the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Football tournament yesterday, May 16 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

With the victory, La Salle cemented their dynasty off a third consecutive title that also allowed them to become the winningest team in the league’s history, bannering 11 championships. The Lady Booters broke what was erstwhile a shared record between them and, coincidentally, the Lady Tamaraws, whose number remained at 10.

La Salle and FEU kept the game tight after figuring out in a nil to nil scoring at the first half.

In the second half, Sara Castañeda capitalized on a free kick at the 53rd minute of the match. The 22-year-old midfielder found Rocelle Mendaño, who finished with a header to put La Salle up, 1-0. At the 79th mark, Shai Del Campo sent the ball at the back of the net for a 2-0 lead, sinking the Lady Tamaraws effectively.

During the awarding ceremony, the Taft-based squad bagged various individual awards led by Castañeda’s MVP and Best Midfielder prizes. After leading the Green-and-White in scoring, Del Campo claimed the Best Striker and Rookie of the Year awards. Tashka Lacson defended her Best Goalkeeper title.

UAAP Season 81 Finals Team Preview: DLSU Lady Booters

Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel

With the UAAP Season 81 down to its last two winner-take-all games, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Booters are looking to close out their campaign with a victory to seal their third consecutive title and stamp their dynasty in the Women’s Football tournament.

Highly favored to repeat this season, the two-time defending champions, led by team captain Kyra Dimaandal, promising rookie Shai Del Campo, and solid goalkeeper Tashka Lacson, opened the first round with a bang and 3-1-0 win-draw-loss record. Amidst their struggles in the second round, where they figured in three draws out of four matches, the Lady Booters managed to stay on top of the league.

Their 4-4-0 slate was enough to send them straight to the Finals, their fourth consecutive appearance. However, after facing UST in the last two editions, they are set to renew their rivalry with the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws this time around.

The DLSU-FEU rivalry is nothing new in the Women’s Football tournament, as the two have previously met in the Finals from Season 58 to Season 66. The Lady Booters have the edge though, taking five of those nine titles from the Lady Tamaraws. Both squads boast 10 championships each under their belts. Hence, it makes this season’s championship match a historic tie-breaker for the two winningest teams in the league’s history.

Although she has been in the Finals in each but one of her playing years, Dimaandal shared that the feeling is the same for the Lady Booters. “Same as last year, (we feel) nervous. We just want to defend the title.”

La Salle defeated the Morayta-based squad in their first encounter, before the latter figured in a draw with the Taft-based squad in their final assignments of the round-robin eliminations. Regardless of the elimination round results, the Dimaandal remains confident of her team’s chances.

“I know that we are capable of keeping the title in Taft. I trust that the girls will not settle for less than a championship,” she stated. The team captain continued, “The team is in good shape. We also have coaches that guide us in the game.”

Dimaandal knows that the title match will not be a walk in the park for them, just like any of their previous championships, “We need to improve on recovery from lapses and mistakes.” She ended, “We have to give not less than 101% and just want to win it more.”

Catch the DLSU Lady Booters in their final game of the season tomorrow, May 16, 2 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Late Zubiri goal catapults Green Booters to semis rematch vs UP

Photo by: Trinity Matias

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters made their return to the Final Four after winning their crucial match against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 1-0, on Thursday at the FEU Fern Diliman.

The victory gave the Green Booters an 8-1-5 slate and eliminated the UST Growling Tigers in the semis race. This also pushed them to the third seed, setting up a rematch with their Season 80 tormentors, the second-ranked UP Fighting Maroons.

It has been indeed a season filled with unpredictable and nerve-wrecking happenings. Now that we have reached the end of eliminations, the Taft-based squad finished strong with a win-draw-loss record of 8-1-5, placing third overall.

The Taft-based squad and the Morayta-based squad were aggressive to start the match. Although starting a bit slow offensively, La Salle made sure to keep their defense tight in order for FEU not to draw first blood. The Green Booters had a couple of chances in scoring, however, they just could not finish. Both teams engaged in a 0-0 first half scoring.

It was until the 90+1′ minute that the Green Booters were finally able to put themselves up on the scoreboard. Rookie Xavier Zubiri emerged as La Salle’s hero after scoring the go-ahead goal to sink FEU.

Head coach Alvin Ocampo believed that his squad did not back down until the final whistle has been blown. “They did not stop playing until the last minute, until they had fulfilled the instructions, which was to put the ball inside the net.”

Ocampo reminded the boys that “we have to make our destiny, we cannot rely to the result of other teams.”

Team captain Jed Diamante believed that everyone in the team really put their hearts during the crucial match. “Everyone in the team has an important role, even those who are part of the second stringers, they are always ready to play. I think everyone just wanted it that much to win para ma-hit namin ang first goal namin which is to enter the Final Four.”

Being part of the La Salle squad who were eliminated by UP, the reigning Best Midfielder vows that they “will enter with more passion and grit no matter who they are facing against.”

He added that they will prepare for UP but he wants to instill a certain mindset to his teammates. “Kahit sino yung opponent na itatapat, dapat same intensity ng play and same yung grit. That’s what I want to instill in their minds and their hearts para when it matters most so that when we (the seniors) graduate, yun ang maiwan namin na legacy sa younger generation ng La Salle Football.”

Support the Green Booters in the semifinals on Thursday, May 9, 2 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Lady Spikers fall to gutsy Lady Tamaraws in five sets

Photo By: Jempoy Pimentel

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers were stunned by a determined Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in five sets, 22-25, 25-13, 25-15, 25-27, 8-15, earlier today at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

As the elimination round came to a close, a marquee matchup between two squads took place. Although a non-bearing match for the fourth-seeded Lady Tamaraws, the squad looked determined to end the elims on a high note. On the flip side, the Lady Spikers wanted to secure the second seed and the twice-to-beat advantage that came with it. The clash resulted in a thrilling five setter that showed heart and guts from both squads.

FEU opened up the match guns blazing. The red hot Lady Tamaraws torched La Salle to grab an early 5-0 lead. The Lady Spikers kept their composure and kept the game close. La Salle eventually climbed back to take the lead, 16-10, as the set headed into the second technical timeout. FEU responded off the timeout and regained the lead, 19-18. This time the Lady Tamaraws took care of business and closed the set, 25-22.

With their back against the wall, La Salle showed greater urgency in the second set. The defending champs showed their dominance over their previous finals opponent.
The Lady Spikers got going early and never looked back swiftly ending the set, 25-13.

DLSU carried their momentum over to the third frame but the Lady Tamaraws got going as well. Both squads went blow-for-blow throughout the set. The set was in a deadlock at 14 apiece when La Salle unleashed a ferocious 11-1 run, capped by a hammer from Aduke Ogunsanya which ended the set, 25-15.

The display of dominance did not get the best of the Lady Tamaraws as they continued to fight back. The fourth set was day-and-night compared to the earlier sets. FEU showed signs of life and matched La Salle’s efforts. The set was littered with deadlocks and lead changes that lead to a breathtaking finish. After a hit from May Luna put La Salle at match, Heather Guino-o responded back. An error by La Salle put FEU at set point, but rookie Jolina dela Cruz tied it all up at 25 apiece. The effort was wasted however when La Salle crumbled under the pressure and dropped two straight points off of errors to send it into a fifth set.

The deciding set was not any different from the last sequence of the fourth set. After tying the set at 2 apiece, the Lady Spikers fell apart and surrendered the set, 8-15.

Dela Cruz led the team in scoring with 22 while Luna and Tiamzon got 15 and 17, respectively. For the Lady Tamaraws, Jerrili Malabanan got 15 points while Guino-o scored a game-high 24 points en route to Player of the Game honors.

Support the DLSU Lady Spikers as they try to clinch the twice-to-beat advantage against the UST Golden Tigresses on May 1, Wednesday, 3:30 PM at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Green Spikers continue losing skid after bowing to FEU Tamaraws in straight sets

Photo By: Jempoy Pimentel 

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Spikers suffer another crushing defeat at the hands of the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws in straight sets, 21-25, 19-25, 20-25, earlier today at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The boys in green and white got off to a shaky start dropping five straight points, 0-5, prompting Coach Laniog to call an early timeout. Off the timeout, the Green Spikers stopped the bleeding off an attack from Cris Dumago. La Salle continued to climb back into the set getting as close to two, 21-23, near the end of the first set. With the Green Spikers nipping at their heels, FEU decided to take no chances, ending the set with two straight attacks, 25-21.

The second set featured a more competitive La Salle squad, bringing the set to multiple deadlocks and lead changes. The window of opportunity was open for both teams with the scoreboard all tied up at 13, but it was the Tamaraws who took advantage.

The Morayta-based squad unleashed a flurry, scoring nine straight points to pull away, 22-13. The bleeding was once again stopped by Dumago. The kill from Dumago reinvigorated the Green Spikers, going on a run of their own. The Spiker run got DLSU as close as five, 24-19, until an emphatic hit from Richard Solis capped the set, 19-25.

Down two sets to none, the Green Spikers tried to extend their lifeline playing with an increased urgency. The set headed into a deadlock at 15, but it was the Tamaraws who came out on top once again. FEU broke the deadlock to bring the set to the second technical timeout,16-15. After the ceasefire, the Tamaraws went straight to work and never looked back, closing the set, 25-20.

Support the Green Spikers as they close out the season against the Fighting Maroons on April 27, Saturday, 8 AM at the same venue.

Green Booters absorb tough loss after bowing down to FEU

Photo by: Trinity Matias

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Booters suffered their third loss of the season as they bowed to top-seeded FEU Tamaraws, 1-2, yesterday, March 17, at the FEU Fern Diliman.

Right at the very first minute of the match, the Tamaraws managed to pass well and execute a goal coming from Kim who drew the first blood of the match. They held on to this early lead before the Green Booters tied it. Alfonso Montelibano powered through the defenders of the Morayta-based squad and converted a goal for DLSU during the 22nd minute. At the end of the first half, it was square one for both teams at 1-all.

The protagonists went head-to-head in the second half as they strengthened both their offense and defense. The match became physical as the referees handed a couple of yellow cards to some players. FEU’s Canonigo capitalized a Green Booter foul at the 83rd minute. A free kick put FEU ahead, 2-1, with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. The men in green had several chances to convert, however they just could not finish.

The DLSU Green Booters (3-0-3) will play their last game of the first round against Ateneo on Thursday, March 21, 3 PM at the same venue. The Green Booters hope to get a victory in order to improve their standings heading into the second round.

Lady Spikers show mastery over FEU after winning Finals rematch

Photo By: Flavius Dulce

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers dominated the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in straight sets, 25-15, 25-19, 26-24, yesterday, March 16, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

After missing the game against UE, Desiree Cheng once again remained on the bench as the first set got underway. Ernestine Tiamzon got the nod to start once more and she did not disappoint. The fourth year spiker made her presence felt early, opening up the scoreboard with a solid hit. Her teammates soon followed suit as back-to-back hits from Jolina dela Cruz and Aduke Ogunsanya gave La Salle an early 3-0 advantage. The Lady Spikers capitalized on their momentum and pounced on the Lady Tamaraws’ defense, entering the first technical timeout with an 8-1 lead. From that point on, La Salle continued to look unstoppable as FEU struggled to pull close. The defending champions got their offense going throughout the set, putting a swift end to the Lady Tamaraws in the first set, 25-15.

The early part of the second set was closely contended as FEU began to show signs of life after a poor showing in the opening frame. The set was in a deadlock at 2-apiece before La Salle got rolling again and pulled away from FEU. A hit from Dela Cruz followed by a miscue on the part of the Lady Tamaraws put DLSU on top, 4-2. With the window of opportunity opening for La Salle, the Taft-based squad went on a scoring tear building a four-point lead, 8-4, entering the first technical timeout. After a strong showing in the early part of the set, things went downhill for the Lady Tamaraws. FEU looked dejected in the face of their tormentors from last season.

The team scrambled to get their act together as La Salle continued to gain momentum taking a six-point lead, 16-10, into the second technical timeout. FEU tried a last ditch effort, going on a 5-2 run to pull within four, 15-19. The Lady Spikers tried to pull away behind an offensive barrage from May Luna and Des Clemente but FEU remained within striking distance. The Lady Tamaraws continued to stick close, 22-18, prompting head coach Ramil de Jesus to pull an unexpected move, slotting Cheng in for the first time in the match. With their captain on the floor, the Lady Spikers regained their footing. An attack from Clemente followed by an error on the side of FEU put La Salle at set point, 24-18. The set had a fitting end as Cheng delivered the finishing blow to put La Salle up, two sets to none.

After dominating FEU in the previous sets, the Lady Spikers showed no signs of slowing down. La Salle opened the third frame with another early 8-1 advantage heading into the first technical timeout. The Lady Tamaraws showed resiliency, cutting the deficit by as much as four, 10-14, before DLSU called to regroup. The Lady Spikers responded well off the timeout pulling ahead, 17-11. La Salle appeared to be on their way to an easy straight-set victory but the Lady Tamaraws had other plans.

FEU blasted La Salle to cut their lead to two, 17-15. The Lady Spikers tried to ice the opposing team’s momentum with a timeout but the Lady Tamaraws remained relentless. FEU tied the game at 17 off a hit from rookie, Lycha Ebon. With the game up for grabs, the latter part of the set was heavily contested. Both teams scored back-and-forth. The Lady Tamaraws got the edge over the the Lady Spikers off a hit from Ebon putting them at set point, 24-23. Down one and in danger of losing the set, Tiamzon came through in the clutch and tied the game at 24. With the set on the line, Cheng was supposed to check in but the Lady Tamaraws crumbled under the pressure committing back-to-back errors as La Salle won the match.

Dela Cruz and Clemente were pivotal in their roles powering La Salle’s offense combining for 17 points. Ernestine Tiamzon continued her stellar play winning Player of the Game honors with 13 points on nine attacks, 1 block and three aces.

The win by the Lady Spikers puts them at second place with a record of (5-2), just behind their rivals, the Lady Eagles (6-1).

La Salle Big Men anchor Green Archers in crucial win over Tamaraws

(FILE PHOTO)

Big men Brandon Bates and Justin Baltazar made their presence felt in a huge 65-57 win for the De La Salle University Green Archers over the Tamaraws in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Saturday.

Bates was hailed as the best player of the game after tallying seven points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Numbers might not be that explosive for the 6’7 slot man, but the timing of his swats and offensive boards proved to be a vital cog for the Taft squad. The other half of the DLSU twin towers, Baltazar, tallied 15 points and six rebounds, while Santi Santillan added 12 and 14.

Arvin Tolentino, who came back from serving suspension, paced FEU with 20 points, four rebounds and two assists. He was the lone Tamaraw who barged into double digits in scoring with Parker and Stockton posting six markers apiece.

It looked like another slow start for the Green Archers in the first period. La Salle opened the quarter up 4-0, but the Tamaraws countered with an 8 to nothing blast. Both teams were sloppy,  shooting poorly from the field. Kib Montalbo then checked in and set the tone for La Salle immediately. The graduating senior took every opportunity to run and make plays for his teammates. The green side was more fluid, being anchored by their team captain as they regained the lead at the end of the first, 14-13.

In the second frame, neither of the squads went away with a comfortable lead. Baltazar and Tolentino stole the show as they scored 12 and 10 points respectively in the first half. The Tams built a 4-point cushion after Tolentino sank a triple with 2:28 left, but the Archers answered every attack thrown at them to tie the game, 34-all, at halftime.

The Morayta-based crew turned its defense a notch higher and began the third canto with an 11-1 run, five coming from Tolentino, to establish a 45-35 lead with 4:08 left in the quarter. The boys in green got their act together as they retaliated with a 13-2 rally to take the driver’s seat once again courtesy of the Bates, Baltazar and Santillan. Montalbo capped of the fightback with a hard drive to the basket to end the third, 48-47.

With momentum already on DLSU’s side, Coach Louie and his Archers never let go of their advantage and kept the Tamaraws at bay. Leading by six, 59-53, with 2:44 to play, La Salle wanted to deliver the final blow. Cue, Aljun Melecio! He did not care about his cold-shooting night. The shifty guard received a pass from Santillan and quickly went for a pull-up triple. That was the dagger as the Green and White eventually came away with the victory.

(FILE PHOTO)

DLSU improved to 6-4 and is currently in solo third place. FEU, on the other hand, suffered its fourth consecutive defeat, dropping down to the fifth spot with a 5-6 card.

The next game for the Green Archers is on November 3, Saturday, 2pm at Ynares Antipolo.

DLSU 65 – Baltazar 15, Santillan 12, Bates 7, Montalbo 7, Caracut 7, Melecio 7, Serrano 5, Dyke 5.

FEU 57 – Tolentino 20, Parker 6, Stockton 6, Inigo 5, Ramirez 5, Escoto 5, Cani 4, Ebona 3, Comboy 3.

Quarter scores: 14-13, 34-34, 48-47, 65-57

 

 

 

 

 

Green Paddlers split assignments, Lady Paddlers spotless in Day 1

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Paddlers opened their UAAP Season 81 campaign with a five-match win, 3-1, 3-1, 2-3, 1-3, 3-2, against Far Eastern University (FEU) on Saturday, September 22 at the University of the Philippines (UP) Gym.

Later in the same day, they followed it up with a 1-3 loss, 2-3, 3-2, 2-3, 0-3, to National University (NU).

On the other hand, the DLSU Lady Paddlers emerged triumphant in their first two outings after making quick work of FEU, 3-0, 3-0, 3-1, and routing University of the East in four sets, 3-0, 3-0, 2-3, 3-1.

Green Paddlers Game 1: vs FEU

La Salle got the momentum early in their campaign as they swiftly mounted a 2-0 lead following Daniel Ocon and team captain Tarak Cabrido’s four-set wins against FEU’s Angcos and Villanueva, respectively.

Then, the pair of Green Paddler veteran Edhric Eder and rookie Patrick Pasumbal took a 2-1 cushion over the combination of Tamaraws Lara and Sombilon in their doubles match. Entering the fourth set, however, the former lost grip of their momentum as the latter made them pay. The Tamaraws kept their hopes alive by claiming the fourth and fifth sets, 13-11 and 11-5, respectively, and eventually the match.

The Green Paddlers remained silent as another first-year player in Vince Remitio could not deliver the goods to Taft. He trailed for most of the time in his opening set, before dominating the next period. While he was on the verge of winning the third set at 11-10, FEU’s Siachua strung three straight points to steal the set from him, 13-11.

In the deciding match, Josiah Espinosa, one more of the team’s four rookies, avoided a meltdown in Set 1 after leading FEU’s Santiago, 9-7, near the end of the set. The latter came back and was able to snatch the driver’s seat, 10-9. Nonetheless, Espinosa connected three consecutive points to seal it for La Salle, 12-10. He then stormed back from down four, 6-10, to slowly steal the second period from Santiago, 14-12. The Tamaraws charged in the third set to get on the match scoreboard, but Espinosa finished Santiago and FEU’s chances in the final set.

Green Paddlers Game 2: vs NU

Marwin Eder, the last of the four rookies of the Green Paddlers, started the first match of the team in the second tie. Eder got off to a smooth start in the opening period, playing seesaw with NU’s Ramiro and even posting a 2-1 match lead after three sets. But, as soon as the defending champions stepped on the gas, the rookie could not catch up and fell short in the fourth and fifth sets, 4-11 and 5-11, respectively.

Cabrido lost two tightly contested sets in his match against Sinchongco, 10-12, 9-11, but that did not keep him from coming up big in the next sets. The Green Paddlers team captain raced to a hot start in the third canto to quickly pull himself to within one set, 11-8. Then, with another close finish brewing in the fourth set, Cabrido did not allow his opponent to force an extension of the period, knocking him at 11-9. He finished Sinchongco early in the deciding set after waxing seven quick points to only one from the latter.

Stakes were high in the third match as the winner would claim the pivotal 2-1 game lead. La Salle’s combination of Nathan Siasico and Remitio and NU’s couple of Celeridad and Mogol were in a tug of war as the two teams exchanged wins in their five-set match. The Season 80 champions NU claimed the first and third sets, while the Season 79 champions DLSU took the second and fourth frames. However, it was the former who outgunned the latter in the deciding set, 6-11, to take the 2-1 game lead.

La Salle just completely surrendered to the reigning champions in the fourth set as Daniel Ocon had no answer to Diez of NU. Ocon lost to Diez in straight sets, 5-11, 7-11, 5-11.

Lady Paddlers Game 1:  vs FEU

Jannah Romero started off the title defense for the Lady Paddlers with a dominating victory in her singles match against FEU’s Talay, 11-8, 11-4, 11-1. Then, Erny Dael gave La Salle a commanding 2-0 game lead after pouncing on Verano in another straight-set match, 11-2, 11-5, 11-4.

The duo of Lady Paddlers veteran Ina Co and rookie Kimberly Sorongon claimed the first set, 11-5, of their doubles match versus FEU’s Alzado and Sacay before losing Set 2, 7-11. However, they bounced back by claiming two more sets, 11-7, 11-7, to clinch the third match and ultimately the victory for La Salle.

Lady Paddlers Game 2: vs UE

Coming off an impressive sweep of the Lady Tamaraws, the defending champions picked up where they left off after quickly mounting a commanding 2-0 game lead against the Lady Warriors. Romero and Dael each swept UE’s Vasquez and Garrucho, respectively.

The combo of Lady Paddlers team captain Kimberly Lumenda and Caressha Bernaldez took a 2-0 match lead over their counterparts Abello and Lague. Curiously in the succeeding sets, the two just completely lost their direction to sweeping UE. With a 10-8 lead in the third canto, they were shut down while Abello and Lague were able to sneak three unanswered points to steal the set. In the fourth and fifth sets, the duo never even tasted the lead when it mattered the most.

Fortunately, they could still afford one more set as Jhoana Go rushed to a two to none match lead over UE’s San Agustin. The Lady Warrior was able to strike a set against Go, but the Lady Paddler ended her hopes of forcing a do-or-die in the fourth set, 11-7.

Up next:

The DLSU Green Paddlers will face Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and University of the East (UE) tomorrow, 8 AM and 1 PM, respectively, at the same venue. Each of the three universities has identical 1-1 records.

On the other hand, the DLSU Lady Paddlers will face UP and Adamson University (AdU) also tomorrow, 8 AM and 1 PM, respectively, at the same venue. Each of the three universities likewise has identical 1-1 slates.

THREE-PEAT! DLSU Lady Spikers sweep FEU for Season 80 crown

The crown remains in Taft Avenue after the De La Salle University Lady Spikers defeated the brave Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 26-24, 25-20, 26-24, on Wednesday, May 2, in front of more than 14000 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The victory gave the school its third straight championship and 11th overall, two days after the 367th birthday of founder St. John Baptist de La Salle.

With the jam-packed crowd already up on their feet as the three-peat-seeking Lady Spikers arrived at championship point, the Lady Tamaraws just refused to give up, stringing consecutive points in a wild turn of events to erase the gap and extend the third set. The defending champions, however, were able to get back on track at a no better timing as they connected back-to-back points to cap the season with the bacon.

The Lady Tamaraws, looking to spoil an early La Salle party, jumped off to a 3-6 lead in Set 1. They extended the lead to four, 7-11, with a Heather Guino-o off-the-block hit. The Lady Spikers remained behind heading into the second technical timeout, 12-16. Subsequently, third year spiker May Luna, Best Player in Game 1, brought La Salle to within one, 18-19. But, the Lady Tamaraws were quick to counter. Graduating FEU spiker Bernadeth Pons sent her team to set point, 24-21. That forced La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus to call a timeout. Coming off the timeout, La Salle shocked FEU with a 5-0 run to steal the set from FEU, 26-24. Kim Kianna Dy unleashed the #swag including an attack from the middle which gave them the lead, 25-24.

It was a different story in the second frame. Contrast to Set 1, La Salle maintained the momentum and rose to a 7-4 cushion over FEU. Luna hit a punishing attack that pushed the Green and White’s lead to five, 12-7. Moreover, that even proved to be a spark as they strung three more points. Third year hitter Tin Tiamzon capped it with an ace to mount a 15-7 edge over the Green and Gold. FEU started to come alive midway through the set, slowly trimming their deficit to three, 17-20. But, Dy fired back-to-back markers to bring La Salle up by five, 22-17, anew. The Taft-based squad held on to win the set, 25-20, and take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Morayta-based squad.

Not wanting the third set to be their last chance, FEU toughened up on both ends. The Lady Tamaraws did not allow any pull-aways from the Lady Spikers early in Set 3. The Game 3-seeking squad answered every La Salle point as the score remained knotted at 10-all. Eventually, the Green and White regained the lead, 14-11, following a gift from middle blocker Aduke Ogunsanya. An ace from Luna gave La Salle a 21-16 lead, making them four points away from the championship. Sophomore setter Michelle Cobb fired another ace to push the Lady Spikers to championship point, 24-20.

However, just as when everybody was ready to celebrate the championship, FEU turned the tables around. Things suddenly started to get more intense. In an unexpected turn of events, action saw nerves wracking as FEU continued to hold on to the game. The Lady Tamaraws #suwagged their way to erase a four-point deficit and tie Set 3 at 24-all. But, the Lady Spikers, being the more composed team, eventually tamed the Lady Tamaraws’ rally. Dy capitalized on an opening, bringing La Salle to championship point anew, 25-24. Tiamzon finally finished the match with a crosscourt from the left wing, 26-24.

Graduating Lady Spikers Kim Kianna Dy, team captain Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili led the team for the last time in their UAAP careers. Dy, Season 78 Finals MVP, top-scored with 19 points on 16 attacks, two blocks, and a serve. Baron, Season 78 Best Blocker and Season 79 MVP, finished with 10 points. Macandili, Season 78 Best Digger and Seasons 78 and 79 Best Receiver, tallied 21 excellent digs and eight excellent receptions. Macandili also claimed the Finals MVP award after averaging 22.5 excellent digs and 10.5 excellent receptions in the series.

On the other hand, graduating Lady Tamaraw Bernadeth Pons finished with a team-high 17 points in the losing effort. Best Blocker Celine Domingo came up next to her but with a far seven-point output.

The Lady Spikers had never tasted a defeat since losing against Adamson University way back in the first round. That was when coach Ramil de Jesus branded their lackluster as “pambarangay” level. They swept their remaining assignments in the eliminations. Finally, they made quick works of their postseason opponents to make it an 11-game winning streak.

La Salle’s 11 championships still remain behind long-time UAAP member schools FEU (29) and UST (15). Nonetheless, the DLSU Lady Spikers are now 11-7 in the Finals, all under head coach Ramil de Jesus. Moreover, they clinched an unprecedented third grand slam in the Women’s Division since the Final Four era. They had won their first two three-peats in Seasons 66 to 68 and 73 to 75.

Scores:

DLSU (3) 77 – Dy 19, Baron 10, Tiamzon 10, Ogunsanya 7, Luna 6, Cheng 3, Cobb 1, Barroga 0, Layug 0, Macandili 0, Tiu 0, Instrella 0, Saga 0, Ipac 0.

FEU (0) 68 – Pons 17, Domingo 7, Guino-o 6, Malabanan 6, Villareal 4, Basas 2, Carandang, 2, Cayuna 1, Negrito 1, Hernandez 0, Duremdes 0, Agudo 0, Calinawan 0, Atienza 0.