Seeking change, new-look La Salle shows character in win over FEU
MANILA, Philippines—Thea Gagate and the La Salle Lady Spikers came out with their fresh-cut hairdos and showed a fierce and composed character to dominate Far Eastern University in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament.
For the past years, the Lady Spikers have been cutting their hair short as part of Ramil de Jesus’ tradition. It was the turn of Gagate, Leiah Malaluan, Justine Jazareno, and the new breed of La Salle to sport the short hairstyles after a frustrating three-straight loss to unbeaten leader National University last Thursday.
Their new look inspired them to show what the Lady Spikers are really capable of.
“We all agreed (to cut our hair short). Because we want change,” said Gagate in Filipino.
“We’re glad that we got a good result and somehow, we were able to reintroduce ourselves and showed the real character of the Lady Spikers.”
The Lady Spikers crawled back from a 13-20 first set deficit before unleashing their dominant form to make short work of the Lady Tamaraws, 25-23, 25-13, 25-14. and keep their hold of the No.3 spot on Saturday evening at Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle assistant coach Benson Bocboc, speaking for De Jesus, said all of them were happy that their wards finally showed the real character of a Lady Spiker, bouncing back from a loss, fighting back from a huge deficit and closing out a set.
In the Lady Spikers’ balanced attack, it was Gagate, who stood the tallest with 14 points, including a game-high of five blocks that outplayed FEU’s frontline, which only had two kill blocks.
“I’m very happy with my performance today because I was able to contribute in blocking, which is my number one responsibility as a middle blocker,” said the 6-foot-2 middle blocker, who was also efficient in attacking, hitting nine-of-18 kills.
But for Bocboc, this is just the start of Gagate’s rise as the best is yet to come for the 21-year-old and the young Lady Spikers, flashing the team’s traditional short hair and fierce attitude inside the court.
“Of course, we want to have more. That’s what we always say to our players even they played great. We expect for more and we push for more. We know that they can show more and play even better. They just need the right timing and opportunity,” he said. “This is just the start for Thea.”
La Salle, which currently holds the third spot with a 6-3 card, seeks to sustain its momentum against University of the Philippines (4-5) on Tuesday.
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