Des Cheng turns up intensity, sparks La Salle win over Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines—Any matchup between Ateneo and De La Salle in the UAAP is always sure to turn the intensity and ante up a notch.
What started out as a rivalry in basketball, the rivalry has also spilled to other sports none more so than volleyball with the Lady Eagles and the Lady Spikers meeting in the title round for six straight years from 2012 to 2017.
Ateneo may have failed to enter the title round in 2018, but the matchup between the Lady Eagles and La Salle always bring out a few memories here and there and that was what happened when the two teams met Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Defending champion De La Salle trumped the Lady Eagles in four sets, 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, and Desiree Cheng had herself a moment in the second set when she taunted Kat Tolentino after an emphatic block.
Cheng said she just celebrated her denial that gave the Lady Spikers a 22-16 lead at that point, and that she’s never a cocky player whatsoever.
“It’s Ateneo-La Salle so there’s always a rivalry even if people say there isn’t,” said Cheng in Filipino. “It’s hard to get points so before the start of the game I told my self ‘I will celebrate every point we get.’”
“I won’t be someone who scores and will just be quiet, if you can say ‘yehey’ at the very least then, go for it and we’re not a team known for holding back.”
Cheng, who’s in her first game as the Lady Spikers’ captain, not only dictated the emotion of her team but also led their offense with 13 points to get the win in their first game of the season.
And as the team’s leader, Cheng said she had to inject some spark in her team and become the starting point of emotions.
“There should be someone out there to initiate, be the spark, and when that happens everyone will follow,” said Cheng.
“So whenever I score a point, I will shout ‘yehey’ or something like that. We have to do that because when there’s no one doing that then who’ll lead my teammates?”
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