De Jesus banking on Lady Spikers' winning tradition as they face 'thirsty' Tigresses | Inquirer Sports

De Jesus banking on Lady Spikers’ winning tradition as they face ‘thirsty’ Tigresses

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 06:49 PM May 03, 2019

MANILA, Philippines—-With La Salle at the disadvantage in the Final Four for the first time in the decade, the Lady Spikers’ season could end as early as Saturday as they face a feisty University of Santo Tomas side, which holds the win-once edge.

But Ramil De Jesus is banking on De La Salle’s championship tradition to bolster the Lady Spikers back into UAAP women’s volleyball finals.

“There are times that winning tradition alone, even though I don’t have that strong of a lineup, is enough,” said De Jesus, who’s the head coach of F2 Logistics in the Philippine Super Liga, in Filipino Thursday.

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“Sometimes the players carry this pride with them. Like this year, I can’t say that I have the strongest of lineups but they themselves believe that they are strong.”

La Salle won its first title in 2000 and has since become the most dominant team in the UAAP for two decades compiling a total of 11 championships.

The Lady Spikers are also gunning for a fourth straight title, something that hasn’t been done since University of Santo Tomas won seven consecutive from 1985 to 1991.

De Jesus’ team can be treated as someone of a rebuilding squad after the leadership troika of Mary Joy Baron, Kianna Dy, and Dawn Macandili all left in 2018.

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Baron was the Season 79 MVP and Season 78 Best Blocker while Dy and Macandili were one-time winners of the Finals MVP plum in Seasons 78 and 80, respectively.

Macandili was also named as the league’s Best Receiver twice and Best Digger once.

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Left from Season 80’s championship squad are Season 79 Finals MVP Desiree Cheng, Tin Tiamzon, May Luna, and Aduke Ogunsanya but in terms of individual notoriety none of them—with the exception of Cheng—can matchup to the ones who left.

Still, De Jesus is confident that his team still has that championship moxie few players in the league has.

“This winning faith is a big thing for us because the players still believe that they’re still one of the best,” said De Jesus, whose team had always carried that twice-to-beat advantage since Season 71.

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De Jesus added that the Lady Spikers must want it more than the Golden Tigresses, who last won the title in 2010 and had missed the Final Four in five of the past six seasons.

“I told them that UST is thirsty for that win because it’s been a long time since UST has been to the finals,” said De Jesus, who owns all of La Salle’s 11 titles. “We should want those wins more to get back to the finals.”

TAGS: De La Salle Lady Spikers, Ramil de Jesus, Sports, UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament

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