Ateneo, La Salle gather momentum for coming crucial clash
Zeroing in on twice-to-beat bonuses, the Lady Eagles and the Lady Spikers scored crushing victories over different foes on Sunday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Lady Eagles got their feathers ruffled by the feisty National University Lady Buldogs but still had enough poise to nail a 25-14, 24-26, 25-17, 25-19 victory that formally clinched for them the Final Four spot.
Ateneo extended its winning streak this season to 10 games. Another win will clinch for the Lady Eagles a twice-to-beat shield in the semifinals.
Interestingly enough, the Lady Eagles will next face the Lady Spikers who dealt them their only defeat so far, happening at the start of the tournament which also represents their only loss.
“We know the other teams are preparing for us, so we just have to follow our coach and the game plan,” said Ateneo spiker Jules Samonte, who topscored with 13 points.
Earlier, La Salle blasted Adamson, 25-15, 25-18, 25-16, to dog Ateneo at second place with an 8-3 record.
Despite the straight sets win, La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus wasn’t satisfied with the way they played, especially if they want to repeat over Ateneo on Saturday.
“In the first round we surprised them, hopefully we can surprise them again,” said De Jesus.
It was the Lady Spikers’ second straight win and one that gave them at least a playoff for a Final Four spot, and a win against the Lady Eagles will seal that.
“We worked very hard, and treated each set like it was the first set because we don’t want to take chances against Adamson,” said La Salle’s star rookie Jolina dela Cruz in Filipino.
Dela Cruz had 13 points, while team captain Desiree Cheng had 11.
The 19-year-old Dela Cruz said they will spend the coming week working on “our weaknesses, because for sure our coach will focus on our weaknesses and how we can still improve.”
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