Carol Cerveza: Resilient Lady Spiker signing off

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The five-year journey of being a Lady Spiker was a story worth telling. Nothing came easy before Carol Cerveza reached the place where she is right now. Those years were filled with sacrifice, perseverance, and mixed emotions.

As being part of a sports-inclined family, she used them as her inspiration and source of strength when things get rough. “I want to be like them. Iniisip ko na lang yung outcome. Kapag nag hirap ka, you’ll get something great in return” said the positive-thinking Lady Spiker.

In life, there will come a time wherein you will need to make sacrifices. Being a student-athlete is not easy, from waking up early for training to going to class regularly, from maintaining a passing grade to catching up with her family and friends.

For Cerveza to be able to balance her studies and collegiate career, she had to make a sacrifice shifting from BS Electronics and Communications Engineering (ECE) to BS Entrepreneurship during her 2nd year. Then, it took another 2 hard-earned years to gain her position in the court.

“Favorite ko yung 4th year ako, that year ako na-notice ni coach at doon ako na-start gamitin sa games at sa crucial situations. Thankful pa rin ako na naging part ako ng team until now.” Describing the match with FEU last January 2016 when she was used as a substitute for Des Cheng, and surprised the crowd for giving the unexpected lift for her Green-and-White squad.

The 5’9 rising star remained as an effective player this season 78, playing important roles during critical games, and most notable during the 2nd elimination game against Far Eastern University. Watching her team from the bench being taunted by their rivals, the fire in her ignited even more.

“So nung pumasok ako sa court, inisip ko na hindi ako papayag na tinatawanan lang kami ng kalaban so kailangan lumaban talaga.”

As one of the seniors in the team, she motivates herself and the team through influencing positive energy in the court. She said that her goal is to lighten up their mood and enjoy the challenge, rather than focus on the pressure.

A resilient Lady Spiker inside and outside the court, that’s how the La Sallian community will remember her. She may not have the spotlight and fame, but her teammates and coaches witnessed how she became a role model who never gave up especially during her first years as a Lady Spiker.

Moving on to the next chapter of her life, she already has a lot of options after graduation. As an entrepreneur major, she would like to set up a business with her siblings or accept the job offer from a corporate company. Being known as the spark plug during crucial games, she also got an offer from a semi-pro volleyball league.

With her focus on this season’s final match from becoming UAAP Season 78 Women’s volleyball champions, she remained undecided about her plans.

The solid teamwork of DLSU’s Lady Spikers is what Cerveza will surely miss the most in her team; that despite of the differences, they were able meet at a certain point. Notwithstanding the season full of challenges, they still manage to enjoy and be happy.

Cerveza expressed an emotional message for her team: “Stay happy all the time, kahit mahirap. Marami pang challenges na ma-fface yung team lalo na madami kaming seniors na ga-graduate, so mostly bata yung maiiwan. Sana yung culture, at lessons na naiwan naming sakanila, ma-keep nila by heart at ma-pass nila sa future players.”

Lady Booters yield UAAP Football crown to UP, settle for second place

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The De La Salle University Lady Booters lost to the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 1-2, in a tianic clash in the UAAP Season 78 Women’s Football Finals, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, earlier today.

La Salle was going for the kill early in the first half as Mary Cristine Duran crossed it to Kyla Inquig for a header but the ball went wide in the fourth minute of the match. Chelo Hodges had another chance to deliver the first goal for DLSU, but she sent it straight into UP’s Javier in the seventh minute mark. The Green and White team gained advantage in ball possession and they were blasting shots on the offensive end of the field.

Team captain Inna Palacios denied every chance UP could get, as the La Salle defense suffocated the booters from Diliman.

Rookie sensation Sara Castaneda and Irish Navaja brought life to DLSU once more but their shots went wide the post. Castaneda broke free from the Maroon defense, but Javier timely came out the box to block the shot in the 38th minute.

At the start of the second half, the Lady Booters suffered a huge blow as Regine Metillo got a yellow card and allowed a penalty kick for UP which eventually led to the first goal of the match from Delos Reyes in the 57th mark, 0-1. In the 61st minute, Aira Agustin was called for handball inside the box. Castaneda then pinched in the equalizer, 1-1.

However, the Lady Maroons took the driver’s seat and changed the tides yet again, a header from Sta. Clara marked the final and winning goal of the match for UP, 1-2, in the 67th mark.

Free kicks and corners from Shannon Arthur could not connect for La Salle. Time ran out for Coach Hans Peter-Smits’s crew as they were not able to tie the match.

Meanwhile, the Lady Booters though, dominated the individual awards. Main gunner Arthur won the Best Striker award after finishing the season with seven goals. Palacios bagged the Best Goalkeeper honors after allowing seven goals from opponents and Regine Metillo notched the Best Defender award.

Castaneda garnered three awards in her maiden year in the UAAP, getting the nod for the Rookie of the Year, Best Midfielder awards, and co-Best Striker with Arthur for Season 78.

This year’s Mythical XI also consisted most of the booters from Taft with Navaja and Inquig completing the winners in the individual accolades for DLSU.

The Lady Booters might have lost, but this season was no doubt the best one for DLSU as the team made a fantastic run. Heads up La Salle!

Thank you, Ara

ARA COVER

Exactly two days after her final spike as a member of the De La Salle University Lady Spikers, Ara Galang is back in Taft Avenue, Manila. Already up at five in the morning to jump in the same bus, which takes her team to their games, only this time, it was for a different reason. Ara and the rest of her team were headed somewhere in Quezon City to partake in various TV appearances in recognition of their most recent Championship.

Roots

Hailing from Angeles City, Pampanga, Ara first got involved in Sports when she was a fifth grader, volleyball however, was not her first choice, “dapat basketball talaga ako, pero walang pang girls pero meron naman sports club na volleyball so trinry lang namin ng mga friends ko. Tapos kami na din composition ng varsity namin nun kasi dun din sila kumukuha sa sports club”. Ara then went on to say that as a kid, she did not even think she owned a volleyball ball but remembers that she owned a basketball.

It was through her Angeles University Foundation varsity team where Lady Spikers headcoach, Ramil De Jesus first got a glimpse of Ara, “hindi naman talaga recruit pero nakausap ko siya. Parang third year high school ako nun, pero hindi pa talaga recruit. Siguro yung coaches ko lang naguusap nun, pero hindi naman nila ako agad talaga kinukuha. Na-eye lang”.

Ara admitted that La Salle was not really her first choice as she looked up to the likes of Mary Jean Balse, Venus Bernal, and Angeli Tabaquero of University of Sto. Tomas (UST), “Nung una kasi wala akong plans mag collegiate volleyball pero nagkaroon ng opportunity so pinagisipan ko. Hindi naman ako kinkuha ng UST, La Salle kinukuha ako” says Ara “may iba rin kumukuha pero La Salle yung pinili ko. Kung hindi ako kinuha ng La Salle, mag tatryout ako dapat nun sa UST”.

She then jokingly said that she picked La Salle because she knew the players of the team because DLSU was the team who always went up against UST during those years but then said that she wanted the good education La Salle offers, “Syempre La Salle pinili ko. Unang una sa education. Kahit hindi ko pa iniisip yung maglalaro ako ng volleyball. And kasi alam ko na yung composition ng team na yun kasi yun yung kalaban ng UST e! Feeling ko lahat talaga destined”.

First of many

Ara serve

November 27, 2011. UAAP Season 74’s opening weekend. La Salle vs Adamson, with the score at 6-4 in favor of La Salle, Ara stepped behind the service line for the very first time, jumped, pulled back her right hand, and swung it with just enough power for the ball to make it across the net, but with enough spin for it to suddenly drop. It was an ace. Ara’s first ever point in the UAAP, yet she showed no emotion. Not even a small crack in her lips to indicate a possible smile. “Nasa personality ko narin siguro yung tahimik lang. Ganun talaga ako, pero I think ngayon sa pagtapos ko, feeling ko nabago ko yung mood na ganun. Kasi alam ko na kailangan ko yung may emotion at alam ko yun yung hinihingi ng team”.

In the same year, Ara also brought home two individual awards, Rookie of the Year and Best server, “sobrang nakaka-overwhelm. Kung may cloud nine, cloud 10 yun. Nene days ko pa yun kaya wow, hindi ko maimagine na nagawa ko yun. Siguro dahil sa hardwork na din yun”.

A taste of glory

Ara considers her first ever UAAP Championship as her most memorable moment of her entire UAAP career, “siguro dahil ang sarap sarap sa feeling ng rookie ka tapos champion agad. Kaya kapag tinanong ako kung ano most memorable sa akin, yun talaga naaalala ko agad”.

The year after, Ara was given the Most Valuable Player award together with her former teammate, Abigail Maraño. It is one of the most prestigious individual awards an athlete can receive but Ara simply smiled when reminded of this and said, “siguro nag peak lang talaga ko nung time na yun”.

The Lady Spikers also won the UAAP Championship in Season 75 to complete a three-peat, Ara’s second UAAP Championship.

Rivalry

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UAAP Season 76 was a tough year. It was the year where the Lady Spikers were aiming for their fourth straight Championship. A feat no other volleyball team has accomplished in the Final Four era. DLSU swept the elimination rounds to gain a thrice-to-beat advantage come the Finals but succumbed to the Ateneo Lady Eagles in four games.

It was during this year and the next where some eyes started to focus on the rivalry between Ara and Ateneo Lady Eagle, Alyssa Valdez. Not only due to the graduation of former captain Aby Maraño and Ateneo’s “Fab Five” (Ho, Cainglet, Gervacio, Nacachi, Ferrer), but simply because both Ara and Alyssa started to become the leaders of their respective teams not only when it comes to scoring but in all aspects.

Ara however, does not have much to say about this so-called rivalry with Alyssa, “hindi ko alam. Wala akong maisip. Para sakin hindi ko siya masaydong naiisip kahit madaming tumitingin sa amin as ganun (rivals). Hindi kasi ako tumitingin ng isa isa lang. Yung mindset ko buong team”.

When it comes to her team’s rivalry with the Lady Eagles, Ara admits that there is added motivation every time they play against Ateneo, “labanan din yun ng pride and ng puso. Kumbaga sabi nga wala na dun yung skills e. Yung kung papaano ka nalang maglalaro, kung gaano mo kagusto, yun nalang yung labanan. Hindi na yung kung sino mas magaling sa ganito, patibayan nalang”.

Worst fear realized

Every single supporter of the Lady Spikers will forever remember UAAP Season 77 for one thing; Ara Galang’s Season-ending injury.

It was game two of DLSU’s Final Four matchup against National University. Unfamiliar territory would be an understatement. The Lady Spikers had their backs against the wall and Ara as the team captain, wanted to lead her team to victory. La Salle was already ahead two sets to one, and leading 22-20 in the fourth set. Just three points away and Ara will have her shot to get back at Ateneo for beating her team the prior year. Last three points.

Ara injury

It was a long rally and as ara went up to hit the ball, her supporters already up on their feet anticipating Ara to finish that rally with one of her famous emphatic spikes. She got the point, her 25th of the match. People went into frenzy. Then all of a sudden, all eyes focused on Ara. She was on the floor clutching her left knee writhing in pain. It was as if the air from the Arena was sucked out and everyone was simply holding his or her breath waiting for La Salle’s captain to get back up. Instead, a stretcher was brought in and Ara was lifted away from the court, back in the locker room. La Salle went on to win the match and earn a seat in the Finals. No one wearing green however, could completely celebrate the victory.

“Nung na-injure ako kasi parang masakit lang kasi naghanda ako for one year and medyo one step closer na ko sa goal namin tapos isang iglap lang, wala na. Wala na ko magagawa”. Narrates Ara “Motivation nalang mabibigay ko sa teammates ko nun kasi wala na akong magagawa inside the court. Sinasabi ko nalang sakanila pag may nakikita akong dapat ayusin. Puro salita nalang”.

Looking back at what could have been had she not been injured and had played in the Finals, Ara believes that although she is not sure if they would’ve won the Championship, she was certain that things would not be the same, “hindi ko rin masasabi pero isa lang ang sure dun, may magbabago dun. Hindi ko din sasabihin na mananalo kami. Kahit wala ako may tiwala ako na kaya nila (teammates) pero hindi lang enough. Pero ginawa nila best nila”.

Getting back up after a season-ending injury is not easy. It requires ample time and the changes in the UAAP calendar indeed helped fulfill Ara’s desire to play for La Salle this Season, “after ng injury actually parang agad inisip ko kung aabot ako pero nag move yung calendar, so yun naging advantage sakin yun. Nakabuti sakin yun kasi humaba yung time ng recovery ko”.

Ara recovered completely before UAAP Season 78 started. Her eyes were set on her comeback and another shot at a Championship.

Redemption

Ara after win

Back in the Finals once more. One last shot at a Championship. One more, one last, for the Green and White. Of course, she did not disappoint.

“Ito yung pinaka masarap na Championship, kasi yung first two championships namin, hindi naman sa madali pero ngayon kasi madaming ups and downs. Minsan magdoudoubt ka pero hindi kasi parang aangat parin tiwala mo sa team. Sabi rin ni coach, mas masarap mag champion dahil sa pinagdaanan namin. Sa lahat ng sacrifices, lahat ng trials and challenges na dumaan sa team”.

Ara scored a total of 31 total points in the three games of the Finals, not a bad number at all but for Ara, she did not reach the form she wished to achieve for this Season, “honestly hindi ko na abot yung peak for me, pero kasi tinitingnan ko yung bigger picture syempre hindi ko iniiisip para sa sarili ko lang. Basta alam ko sa sarili ko na nakaka contribute ako at nakakatulong ako kahit papano sa team” says Ara “and nakuha naman namin yung goal namin sa team. For me sobra sobrang nalagpasan ko pa yung ine-aim ko kasi nakuha namin yung goal”.

In the post-game interview, Coach Ramil said that the win is for the seniors of the team but most especially for Ara. She has not watched the replay of the game and was not aware of what her coach said. When told about this, Ara paused for a while and asked “talaga? Sinabi niya yun?”. She then got a bit teary-eyed, “Ngayon ko lang nalaman, sobrang natouch tuloy ako”. She said “Kasi bawat isa naman samin may iba iba kaming pinaghuhugatan pero may common denominator din kami, pare-pareho yung gusto namin. Pare-pareho naman kaming nahirapan, nag tetrain din sila. Yung iba lang yung paghihirap ko sa therapy and strengthening pero for me, equal lang sa aming lahat. Para saming lahat talaga yun”.

Through the eyes of the crowd

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Through the eyes of the league

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Boom

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Next up

“Kianna (Dy)” was Ara’s quick response as to who she feels will fill the void she will leave in the team, “sa nangyari this season nagpakita talaga si kianna pero naniniwala ako na lahat kaya mag step up. Dadarating yung time sa kanila. Sa ngayon si kianna pero alam ko may iba pang aangat”.

As of the moment, Ara still has no concrete plans for the future. She is still undecided if she will go right back to playing volleyall, “pinagiisipan ko pa if maglalaro na ako kaagad, pero if may opportunity naman pwede naman pagisipan. Kasi may isa pa akong term sa acads so gusto ko muna i-prioritize yun, mag focus sa last term ko para at least maka graduate na ko para mas madami na akong pwede gawin”

Staying involved with the Lady Spikers is something that Ara is also considering, “kung mabibigyan ako ng opportunity, kung aalukin ako, pwede ko naman pagisipan lalo na kung sila naman kasama ko. Matagal ko sila nakasama and kilala ko sila so mas okay yun. Parang may advantage agad sa akin yun”.

Looking back

After five years, Ara deems her team and routine as what she will miss most about playing in the UAAP, “Overall yung teammates ko pinaka mamimiss ko. Yung buong team, yung coaches mamimis ko yung preparation. Training syempre mahaba yan. Hindi naman yan maglalaro ka lang sa Season, syempre buong year yan. Yung buong five years ko tinrain ko, so daily routine ko mamimiss ko”.

Ara happy

When Ara looks back at her journey and what inspired her to become the player she is today, her team, family, and friends are all part of the list but she gives emphasis on her supporters, “yung supporters na laging nandyan kahit na hindi ako naglalaro, kahit injured ako parang nandyan parin sila lagi. Syempre parang sino ba mawawalan ng gana kung ang daming sumpsuporta sayo tapos ikaw hahayaan mo nalang? Parang pag nakikita ko na madaming naniniwala sakin dun ako nagkatiwala sa sarili ko”.

Asked how she wants to be remembered, Ara says, “yung hindi nagigive up. Yung kahit ano mangyari, makakabangon, kahit anong instances”.

 Note: Special thanks to Flavius Dulce and the DLSU Sports photographers for the photos

Green Booters lose to Ateneo in penalty shootout

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The De La Salle University Green Booters end their UAAP Season 78 campaign after a thrilling match against the Ateneo de Manila University with a penalty shootout score of 4-5 after setting a draw of 1-1 earlier today at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Taft- Based team entered the match with Raphael De Guzman as the goal keeper, Noel Brago, Nathan Alcantara, and Gerald Layumas, and Nicholas Villacin as defenders, Jhoguev Ybanez, Gregory Yang, and Yoshiharu Koizumi as the midfielders, and Javier Romero- Salas, Inigo Gonzales, and Angelo Diamante, the captain, playing forward.

In the first half of the game, the ball spent most of its time in the green side of the court as the Green Booters combated the attacks of the blue eagles that were consistently at their peak of attack. However, early in the third minute of the match, team captain Diamante took a shot at the opponent’s goal but went wide.

The Taft-based squad did not lose hope and in the middle of the first half of the game, the ball leaned to the side of the Ateneo Blue Eagles where Yang took multiple attempts on the goal but was caught by the keeper and was too strong. Goalkeeper De Guzman also staged his defensive skills as he caught the fast shots from the opposing team in the 25th minute of the game.

In the 36th minute of the game, the Green Booters were unable to stop the attack of Ateneo’s Carlo Liay from digging the first score of the match from inside the box, lifting the score to a 1-0.

The second half of the match was in the favor of DLSU as G.Diamante scored in the 76th minute of the game as the ball was passed by Alcantara, raising DLSU’s score to 1-1. Also, Gonzales, and Jed Diamante took shots but was rejected by the opposing team. The crowd went wild as G.Diamante was in the box, about to strike a shot with no defenders, but missed the goal.

An overtime of 30 minutes was given to both teams as the game finished with a 1-1 draw. During the given extension, the attacking instinct of the green Green Booters took place where team captain Diamante, Layumas, and Jose Montelibano went for the goal on multiple occasions but was blocked by the defenders of the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

A penalty shootout was called in as a sudden death to break the draw of the Green and Blue rival teams with Ateneo taking the first penalty. The match concludes with Ateneo’s goal keeper Oracion saving the 5th ball from Montelibano of DLSU, ending the tie with a 5-4 score. The Green Booters might have lost, but the Lasallian fighting spirit was in full display and they fought hard until the very last second of this nail-biting game.

Green Booters lose to Ateneo in penalty shootout

Featured

The De La Salle University Green Booters end their UAAP Season 78 campaign after a thrilling match against the Ateneo de Manila University with a penalty shootout score of 4-5 after setting a draw of 1-1 earlier today at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Taft- Based team entered the match with Raphael De Guzman as the goal keeper, Noel Brago, Nathan Alcantara, and Gerald Layumas, and Nicholas Villacin as defenders, Jhoguev Ybanez, Gregory Yang, and Yoshiharu Koizumi as the midfielders, and Javier Romero- Salas, Inigo Gonzales, and Angelo Diamante, the captain, playing forward.

In the first half of the game, the ball spent most of its time in the green side of the court as the Green Booters combated the attacks of the blue eagles that were consistently at their peak of attack. However, early in the third minute of the match, team captain Diamante took a shot at the opponent’s goal but went wide.

The Taft-based squad did not lose hope and in the middle of the first half of the game, the ball leaned to the side of the Ateneo Blue Eagles where Yang took multiple attempts on the goal but was caught by the keeper and was too strong. Goalkeeper De Guzman also staged his defensive skills as he caught the fast shots from the opposing team in the 25th minute of the game.

In the 36th minute of the game, the Green Booters were unable to stop the attack of Ateneo’s Carlo Liay from digging the first score of the match from inside the box, lifting the score to a 1-0.

The second half of the match was in the favor of DLSU as G.Diamante scored in the 76th minute of the game as the ball was passed by Alcantara, raising DLSU’s score to 1-1. Also, Gonzales, and Jed Diamante took shots but was rejected by the opposing team. The crowd went wild as G.Diamante was in the box, about to strike a shot with no defenders, but missed the goal.

An overtime of 30 minutes was given to both teams as the game finished with a 1-1 draw. During the given extension, the attacking instinct of the green Green Booters took place where team captain Diamante, Layumas, and Jose Montelibano went for the goal on multiple occasions but was blocked by the defenders of the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

A penalty shootout was called in as a sudden death to break the draw of the Green and Blue rival teams with Ateneo taking the first penalty. The match concludes with Ateneo’s goal keeper Oracion saving the 5th ball from Montelibano of DLSU, ending the tie with a 5-4 score. The Green Booters might have lost, but the Lasallian fighting spirit was in full display and they fought hard until the very last second of this nail-biting game.

Lady Spikers lose to Ateneo in five-set thriller

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The De La Salle University Lady Spikers lost to the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles in five heart-pumping sets, 25-18, 28-26, 17-25, 16-25, 11-15, in game two of the UAAP Season 78 Finals at the MOA Arena, earlier today.

The match was enticed by 20,541 roaring fans from start to finish.

In the first set, La Salle looked to pound on the Blue and White as Ara Galang connected with a service ace to post a seven point lead, 9-2. DLSU had an answer to Ateneo everytime they tried to rally, but Galang once again sealed the 1st set victory for the Taft-based squad.

The Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles went tit-for-tat early in the second frame, with the score tied at 8-all. Ateneo seemed to even the match as they were up 24-20. However, La Salle displayed an epic comeback as Kim Dy steals the set for DLSU, 28-26.

In the third set, ADMU did not throw in the towel just yet, as Alyssa Valdez carried the load for Coach Bundit’s crew, pushing the lead to 10-6. A combination play for La Salle brought them back into game and was able to cut the lead to four, 15-19. The Lady Eagles repelled a comeback from the Lady Spikers as they went on to win the set, 25-17.

Valdez and company lifted their momentum into the fourth period. Cyd Demecillo hits it straight into net to yield the set to Ateneo, 25-16.

In the final set, the Lady Spikers played catch up to the spikers from Katipunan as Valdez once again daggered a kill, 11-7, in favor of Ateneo. La Salle rallied back to cut the deficit to two, 11-13. De Leon though scored the winning point for the Lady Eagles, 15-11.

Dy led the scoring for DLSU, tallying 16 points. Reyes chipped in 14 while Galang notched 12 markers.

Winner-take-all game three will be on Saturday, 3:30pm, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Come and support the Lady Spikers as they try to put an end to the Ateneo dynasty; to gun for their 9th UAAP Women’s Volleyball crown and most importantly, to finally redeem their lost glory.

Lady Spikers blank Ateneo, draw first blood in Finals opener

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One win away to redeem lost glory.

The De La Salle University Lady Spikers swept arch rival Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21, in a nerve-wracking collision in Game One of the UAAP Season 78 Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, earlier today.

It was a well-balanced attack from the Taft-based squad as Kim Dy topscored with 15 points. Mika Reyes notched 13 markers, six from blocks, and a service ace while Ara Galang and Mary Joy Baron added 10 markers each.

“Mas relaxed yung mga bata kanina, kahit na down kami nung first set, so early timeout ako ng 4-0 so alam ko babalik yung composure nung mga bata”, Head Coach Ramil De Jesus said.

Ateneo tried to even the match in the second set as Jia Morado fed Bea De Leon with a quick, 15-13. However, Ara Galang denied Alyssa Valdez to cap off a 7-1 run later in the set, 25-22, to post a 2 sets to none lead.

The Lady Spikers smelled blood from their prey, continuing to put the Lady Eagles away, 11-8, earlier in the third set.

Galang sealed the victory for the Lady Spikers as she nailed a cross-court hit, 25-21.

In the first set, Coach De Jesus’ crew trailed the spikers from Katipunan, 8-4. DLSU though changed the tides as Dy attacked past the Ateneo defense to grab the lead, 19-16. La Salle repelled a comeback from ADMU, winning the set, 25-22.

La Salle looks to try and bring the crown back to Taft, but they will be facing the Blue and White team that will seek vengeance. Come and cheer your hearts out for the Lady Spikers at the MOA Arena, April 27, 4pm.

Green Booters overpower Growling Tigers, set Final Four clash vs Ateneo

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The De La Salle University Green Booters blasted a 4-nil demolition against the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in a fiery collision in the last match of the eliminations of the UAAP Men’s Football Tournament at the Ateneo Moro Lorenzo Field, earlier today.

Team Captain Gelo Diamante led La Salle with a brace in the 14th and 38th minute, while Green booters Jhoguev Ybanez and Yoshiharu Koizumi also delivered goals in the 61st and 74th mark respectively. The Taft-based squad proved mastery of UST after a draw (1-1) in their first round encounter.

The captain started off early in the match, firing the ball into the left wing of the goal to open the scoring for De La Salle, 1-0, in the 15th minute mark. Eventually before the second half, team captain Diamante shoots another ball past the UST keeper from a Javier Romero-Salas’ feed to pull away in the 38th minute, 2-0.

In the second half, Ybanez shot a header into the net off a Jed Diamante cross from a corner kick that put the Green Booters up, 3-0, in the 61st mark. The Green and White continued to pound on the booters from Espana as Rafael Gonzales found Koizumi on top of the key, who nailed the last goal of the match in the 74th minute, 4-0.

Head Coach Hans Smit shuffled players to rest his starters heading into the playoffs. The Growling Tigers tried to catch up by hitting long balls, but all their attempts either went wide or were sent straight into the hands of DLSU’s goal keeper Kerbi Almonte – who replaced Raphael De Guzman in the 70th minute of the match.

DLSU ended the elimination rounds ranking second, and they will face the third seed Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on April 28.

 

 

Lady Spikers fall behind against Lady Tams

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The De La Salle Lady Spikers, after entering into final four with twice-to-beat advantage, suffered a mishap as they fell flat against the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in a five-set, 25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 21-25, 14-16, nerve-wracking collision of UAAP Season 78 Womens Volleyball Semifinala at Mall of Asia Arena, April 17.

An unforced error by Cyd Demicillo ended the match for the Lady Spikers allowing an extended onslaught on Wednesday.

Cyd spearheading the fifth set together with Mika and Ara could have pulled through the deciding set but the Palma-led squad responsed to every point thrown by the ladies in green and white.

Down by two, 4-6, in the middle of fifth set, Cyd took on the driver’s seat and ignited a 3-0 run, 7-6.

The Taft-based squad with a two-point deficit and the Lady Tams with a match point, 14-12, played their hearts out as Ara and Majoy saved two match points coupled by a Malabanan-service error, 14-14.

The Lady Spikers erupted early in the first set as they showered daggers of 11 assaults, seven blocks and two service aces unto the Lady Tams.

Though claiming second set, the Fajardo-led squad was haunted by their unforced errors especially on services allowing the Recto-based squad to snatch third and fourth set.

Kim, the top-gunner from Zobel led the ladies in the scoring department with a 20 team-high performance. Ara and Majoy stuffed the stat sheet with 14 markers each spurred on by Cyd and Mika who notched 13 and 10 respectively and Carol Cerveza with two points in fourth set.

The Lady Spikers will clash once again with the Lady Tams for the do-or-die match on Wednesday 3:30 PM.

Lady Spikers close out eliminations with ousting of Lady Bulldogs

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The De La Salle University Lady Spikers knocked out the National University Lady Bulldogs in Final Four contention after four nail-biting sets, 25-14, 21-25, 25-19, 25-15, to close out the elimination round in the UAAP Season 78 Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.

Kim Dy spearheaded the attack for the Green and White tallying a career-high 25 points, 15 from attacks, five blocks and five service aces against an NU side that dealt them their first defeat in the frist round of the tournament.

Mary Joy Baron scored off the block to push La Salle’s lead to eight, 18-10, in the first set. Dy fired service aces after another to clinch the set for DLSU, 25-14.

The Lady Bulldogs looked to keep their final four hopes alive as they pulled away early in the second set, 8-4. However, the Taft-based squad got their act together with Cyd Demecillo giving back her team a, 16-15, edge. The spikers from Jhocson unleashed their resilience, taking the second frame, 25-21.

The third set came out to be tit-for-tat early as neither of the teams gave each other a comfortable advantage. Rookie May Luna provided spark off the bench after helping DLSU enjoy a commanding, 20-14, lead.

Baron once again went off the block to bag the set, 25-19. The towering middle blocker also brought her team back on the driver’s seat, 2 sets to 1.

Coach Ramil De Jesus’ crew smelled blood in the fourth set as Dy connected with a kill to give the Lady Spikers a, 16-13, lead. Mika Reyes caught fire late in the fourth period, piercing three service aces to finish off National U, 25-15.

De La Salle is heading into the final four ranking second, and will face the third seed Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Sunday, 3:30pm at the Mall of Asia Arena.