MANILA, Philippines— Fighting for survival, Ateneo hopes to put its heart-breaking Game 1 loss behind and extend the UAAP women’s volleyball finals to a third game Wednesday.
Lady Eagles’ skipper Dzi Gervacio knows her team still has a chance to hold fierce rival and two-time defending champion De La Salle’s celebration, which rose from two sets down to take the opener, 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, last Saturday behind Cyd Demecillo.
“Hindi pa tapos ang laban. We have another opportunity, we just have to work harder as a team and show that we want it more than ever,” said Gervacio, who scored three of her nine points on service aces with her patented jump serve.
Ateneo looked poise to take Game 1 as it even led, 13-8, in the third set before wilting under pressure.
Alyssa Valdez led the Lady Eagles with 17 points with two blocks but La Salle proved to be too much the moment it got its groove.
A win by La Salle would seize its third straight title-eighth women’s volley crown overall tying University of the Philippines as the third winningest team- a fitting ending to its stellar Season 75 campaign, where it finally dethroned 39-time overall champion University of Santo Tomas as the general champion.
“Our team has a positive aura right now. We are focused, our mindset is there,” said Lady Archers’ captain and reigning MVP Abi Maraño.
La Salle won Game 1 despite committing 48 errors against Ateneo’s 25 but the Lady Archers know that in order to wrap up the series, limiting unforced miscues is a must.