The La Salle Lady Spikers secure their second consecutive University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball championship after beating rivals Ateneo Lady Eagles, 19-25, 25-14, 18-25, 25-18, 15-10, in Game 2 of their finals series on Saturday evening at the Big Dome.
Kim Kianna Dy paced La Salle with 19 markers, while Tin Tiamzon added 16 of her own.
It felt like watching Game 1 all over again, with Ateneo outdoing their rivals to claim the opening set in fairly comfortable fashion, 25-19.
Dropping the first set gave the Lasallians a much needed jolt, sprinting to an 13-3 lead in the following frame.
But unlike the Lady Eagles in the second set of Game 1, there was no collapse from the Lady Spikers as they leveled the scores, 25-14.
A 6-1 run from Ateneo saw them create separation from the defending champions in the third frame, to take a 13-10 advantage.
The Lady Eagles never looked back as they secured the 2-1 advantage, claiming the third set, 25-18.
With the prospect of extending the series looming closer, the defending champions refused to fall in the fourth frame, 25-18.
The Lasallians started the decisive set with an 8-3 flurry. Ateneo would fight back to reduce the deficit, 12-8, but there was no stopping the green tide as they secured their second consecutive title.
Michelle Morento led Ateneo with 16 points, while Jho Maraguinot and Bea De Leon chipped in 14 apiece.
Things looked dire for La Salle after they went down 2-1 against their rivals, but according to La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus he simply reminded his team to believe.
“Ayoko nang umabot ng Game 3 yung game,” De Jesus, now a 10-time champion coach, said. “Sabi ko sa kanila tatapusin natin ngayon, maniwala lang kayo na tatapusin natin ngayon. Kung anong gusto ng isa, kailangan gustuhin ng bawat isang player.”
[Translation: I didn't want to go into Game 3. I told them we will finish it now, just believe that we will finish it now. Whatever one team member wants, each of the other players have to want it, too.]
Desiree Cheng’s exploits in the finals earned her the Finals MVP trophy, while graduating team captain Kim Fajardo took her final bow as a Lady Spiker.