Monster crowd at MOA Arena makes clinching volleyball title sweeter for La Salle
More News from Celest Flores
More News from INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines – La Salle took out rival Ateneo to capture the UAAP women’s volleyball title for the second year in the row – only this time, there were close to 18,000 paying patrons to witness it live on Wednesday.
The support from volleyball fans have reached an incredible, record-setting high in season 75, but playing in front of such passionate crowd was a thrill and daunting experience at the same time for the Lady Spikers.
“Definitely the pressure was tremendous due to mammoth crowd and the expectation was high. But at least we’ve done our job well,” said head coach Rami De Jesus.
“Kaibahan lang (ngayon kaysa last year), maraming nanunuod. Nung time na yon, wala naman masyadong nanuod eh. Ngayon, nasa MOA kami. Talagang madaming gustong maka-witness ng mangyayari,” he added.
De Jesus, who clinched his eight title with La Salle and a second round of a three-peat, has actually been there long enough to see the extremes.
“Sobrang natutuwa ako kasi halos ka-batch lang kami ni Mozzy Ravena, pareho kami naka-witness kung pa’no nag-start volleyball dito. Dati, yung ticket pinamigay na eh wala pa gustong kumuha eh. Ngayon, wala ka na maibigay,” shared De Jesus.
On Wednesday, there were 17,268 paying patrons as the first ever championship in any sport was clinched inside Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The last time they met at the same venue in the elimination round, there were 19,638 spectators present.
The sudden leap from San Juan Arena, which was used in the past for volleyball events, to MOA Arena could be rattling as it is exciting.
But for finals MVP Michelle Gumabao, it energized the Lady Archers en route to a 25-23, 25-20, 25-16 win in game two and a sweep of the finals.
“It was very rewarding na andito lahat ng tao watching us play. Yung crowd iba naging effect sa’min ngayon,” said an ecstatic Gumabao, who was key in La Salle’s pivotal comeback win in game one.
“It’s a sweet (championship) because it was a three straight set win,” Gumabao added.
“Sweet (yung championship) kasi ito yung fruit of labor ng mga bata. Sobrang pinaghirapan nila. Magandang exit ’to sa dalawang senior players ko,” said de Jesus.
For the triumphant de Jesus, who also nailed his 190th win in the league, though, there is nothing sweeter than the very first time he put that first trophy to start his collection.
“Yung 1999 (title) siguro pinaka-sweet kasi yun yung unang una, dun mo mat-test kung para ka ba sa volleyball or hindi, kung may talent ka bang mag-coach o wala,” De Jesus said.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94