A new star rises
This was supposed to be a trying year for La Salle, a season when the defending champions would truly be tested what with the graduation of key playmaker Kim Fajardo.
Somehow, in a manner distinctly her own, Michelle Cobb is making things easier for the Lady Spikers.
“I want to establish that I have my own style, I have my own skills,” said Cobb, politely downplaying suggestions that she is the second coming of Fajardo. “I know my teammates and coaches trust me. As a setter, they trust me to distribute and I don’t want to waste that trust.”
The sophomore setter, instead, validated that faith, playing the heroine’s role in La Salle’s 25-21, 25-22, 26-24 victory over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
Down 19-23 in the third set, Dawn Macandili huddled her teammates and told them “the game is not over yet,” Cobb recalled.
The Lady Spikers responded, moving to within a point, 23-24. That was when Cobb was called on to deliver. She took her spot at the service area and admitted that she had to catch her breath several times.
“I almost couldn’t breathe,” said Cobb. “I just repeated what coach Ramil [de Jesus] told me. Heart. Trust myself. One point at a time and then go from there,” Cobb said.
With that mantra in mind, she uncorked three service aces to seal the match and send the Lady Spikers to a 2-0 card.
Cobb’s heroics threw the heroics of UP’s Diana Carlos and Clarice Ramos down the drain and stole the spotlight from Adamson’s scintillating five-set win over perennial powerhouse Far Eastern U in the earlier game.
The Lady Falcons, who lost 13 straight games last season before winning their final assignment, nailed their first win way earlier this time after a 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-12 nail-biter against favored the Lady Tamaraws.
“The coaches knew we needed this first win, this will be our confidence booster,” said coach Air Padda.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.