La Salle, UST brush off foes
La Salle is not about to let Ateneo go out of sight.
The Lady Spikers brushed off the University of the East Lady Warriors, 25-16, 25-15, 25-9, on Saturday to join their bitter rivals on top while clinching at least a playoff berth in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
In the second game, University of Santo Tomas moved closer to the Final Four while pushing Far Eastern University to the edge with a 17-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-21 decision.
The Tigresses wasted six match points on attack and reception errors as they struggled to close out the match.
“We need a finishing kick,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes. “That’s what we lack. I told the players to just inhale and exhale.
“But the outcome is good. We’ll just continue focusing on our game,” added Reyes whose wards tied National University in third place with a 7-4 record.
La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus said the defending champion squad’s yearlong preparation is paying off.
“The players are very motivated,” he said.
“Training is very hard. If you ask any player, no one would want to undergo the training they had if they don’t have to, but my players showed perseverance.”
De Jesus tried to experiment as he fielded 12 of his 13 players, knowing fully well that they could afford it against the lowly Lady Warriors.
“I used this game to find out who among my players are up to the task,” said De Jesus, who is known for having a very tight rotation.
Seldom-used players Gyra Barroga, Arriane Layug, Norielle Ipac and Justine Tiu got playing time as the Lady Spikers totally dominated the match with 39 attacks against the 20 of UE.
Desiree Cheng led La Salle with 10 points, while Kim Fajardo had a field day opening firing lanes for her teammates, accounting for 31 excellent sets out of 67 tosses.
The Lady Warriors fell to their 10th loss in 11 matches.
Games continue Sunday with Ateneo trying to wrest solo lead against winless Adamson (0-11) at 2 p.m.
National U tackles University of the Philippines in the
4 p.m. mainer.