La Salle loses Galang in finals
MANILA, Philippines—La Salle remains steadfast and aims to come out fighting despite losing star spiker Ara Galang to injury just days before the Lady Spikers clash with rival Ateneo for the UAAP women’s volleyball championship.
“In any team, it’s hard to play without a leader,” said La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus. “But we have to continue. [Our season] can’t stop here. If someone’s missing, we have to find a way. We just have to practice without Ara.”
Galang suffered a painful left knee injury due to tears on her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and medial meniscus on top of bone bruises that may sideline her for eight months.
The unfortunate incident happened after Galang—playing her best game yet this season—unloaded six straight hits that pushed the Lady Spikers within two points of clinching the last title berth in their knockout semifinal match versus National University last Saturday.
Galang was a heartbreaking sight as she crumpled to the floor clutching her left knee, crying in pain.
The 20-year-old team captain was taken out of the court in a stretcher, telling medics that the pain level was “10 out of 10.” She was rushed to Makati Medical Center.
Although the Lady Spikers went on to win over the Lady Bulldogs, 26-24, 21-25, 25-18, 25-21, it was a bittersweet march to their seventh straight Finals stint.
The absence of Galang, the 2013 co-MVP and 2012 Rookie of the Year, made the Lady Spikers a heavy underdog against the unbeaten Lady Eagles in the Finals series starting at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Powered by Alyssa Valdez, the Lady Eagles will shoot for back-to-back crowns in the title series where they hold a thrice-to-beat advantage after a 14-0 sweep of the eliminations.
This means Ateneo already has a 1-0 advantage in a best-of-five series with La Salle.
Ateneo is actually gunning to sweep the event for the first time ever after the Blue Eagles completed a 2-0 sweep of the National U Bulldogs for the men’s crown earlier Saturday.
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