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All hail the champs

La Salle sweeps FEU for third straight crown; NU bags men’s title
/ 05:45 AM May 03, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.NET

Up against an enemy that simply refused to give in, La Salle dug deep before pulling out a 26-24, 25-20, 26-24 decision of Far Eastern University Wednesday for a sweep of their best-of-three series that gave the Lady Spikers a third straight UAAP women’s volleyball crown.

Relief spiker Tin Tiamzon’s winning point, an off-speed hit that found an open spot in FEU’s defense, ended a furious rally that left everyone gasping and released a shower of confetti, igniting a revelry among the La Salle supporters that formed majority of the 14,018 paying fans at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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La Salle had a rough start to the season, so rough that coach Ramil de Jesus even branded his Lady Spikers “barangay level” players.

But the Lady Spikers turned it up a notch and closed out Season 80 with 10 straight wins and their second hat-trick in the last 10 years to validate their dynasty.

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“I rarely say that I’m happy with what they did. But I’m proud of them,” said De Jesus, who steered the team to seven titles in the last decade starting in Season 71, where they also conquered the Lady Tamaraws.

“This year, I was playing for legacy, what I would leave my school with,” La Salle libero Dawn Macandili said in the din of celebration while clutching the Finals MVP trophy. Macandili, team captain Majoy Baron and Kim Kiana Dy played their last game for La Salle.

National University also survived a gritty foe in Ateneo, 25-20, 31-29, 22-25, 33-31, in Game 2 of the men’s Finals to also sweep its way to the title earlier in the day.

It took seven match points before the Bulldogs finally put the Blue Eagles away after falling short against them in the finals for the past three seasons and win their third volleyball crown overall.

“This is our sweetest championship because we waited so long for this day that we will win it again,” said NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin in Filipino.

Incidentally, the Lady Spikers’ string of titles was only disrupted by the one team that shares their gallery appeal: Ateneo.

The Lady Eagles’ brief reign—Seasons 76 and 77 that featured superstar Alyssa Valdez—brought forth blockbuster Finals for the league in the six straight seasons they faced each other.

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“I don’t bother to count them at all,” said De Jesus who won his 11th title overall as La Salle coach.

FEU started strong, leaning on Bernadeth Pons early to take a 24-21 lead and earn set point in the opening frame, only for the Lady Spikers to win the next five points and set the stage for their coronation.

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TAGS: Dawn Macandili, DLSU Lady Spikers, Far Eastern University, La Salle, National University, Ramil de Jesus, UAAP women’s volleyball
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