A season after losing crown, rookie-laden La Salle shoots down Ateneo to push itself on top of favorites’ list | Inquirer Sports
Look who’s back

A season after losing crown, rookie-laden La Salle shoots down Ateneo to push itself on top of favorites’ list

/ 04:40 AM March 08, 2020

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Big crowd. Big venue. Big-time opponent. In the eyes of La Salle rookie Thea Gagate, all that sure looked intimidating.

You couldn’t tell that by the way she played, though.

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The 6-foot-2 Gagate poured in 10 points as La Salle reasserted its dominance over Ateneo with a 25-17, 17-25, 25-17, 25-15 victory on Saturday in UAAP volleyball at Mall of Asia Arena.

Gagate admitted feeling jittery in front of a crowd of about 13,000, but delivered well enough to allow the Lady Spikers to roll past the Lady Eagles. Ateneo has yet to win against La Salle in the last four years.

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“This is my first time to play in this type of crowd; I wouldn’t survive it if not for the support of our coaches,” Gagate said in Filipino.

A recruit from powerhouse Nazareth School of National University, Gagate is one of three rookies who delivered the goods for the team, which is aching to get back after missing the finals last year.

“I have high expectations from them and tonight maybe I was still looking for more,” said La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus.

La Salle dominated Ateneo despite committing 33 errors, including 10 in the opening set.

“You can’t avoid it especially with these rookies. This is the first game. We call it first-game jitters. But as long as they get back into the game it’s okay with me,” De Jesus said.

Leila Jane Cruz and Baby Jane Soreno scored nine and eight points, respectively, in their debut for the Lady Spikers.

They all provided back up for La Salle mainstays led by Tin Tiamzon and Jolina dela Cruz who had 17 and 13, respectively.

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“This is a crucial win for us,” De Jesus said. “Despite the errors we got back into the game.”

Earlier, University of the Philippines jumped into winning column after overcoming University of the East, 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 25-17.

Isa Molde exploded with 24 points, while Tots Carlos added 15 for the Lady Maroons who recovered from UP’s loss to Ateneo early this week.

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TAGS: Ateneo Lady Eagles, De La Salle Lady Spikers, Sports, UAAP, uaap women's volleyball, Volleyball
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