UAAP: La Salle dumps UP, secures Final Four spot in women’s volleyball
MANILA, Philippines-La Salle proved too quick, too cohesive and too powerful for University of the Philippines in an emphatic 25-15, 25-16, 25-16, win that secured the Lady Spikers a sure trip to the Final Four of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball on Sunday.
Rookie Angel Canino was all over La Salle’s floor, scoring 17 points on 13 attacks and had two blocks and a pair aces as the Lady Spikers put the ignominy of their first setback of the season against the University of Santo Tigresses behind.
“We’ve learned big lessons from that defeat. We talked it over during the (Lenten) break and realized that we can do more as a team,” said Canino.
Middle blockers Thea Gagate and freshman Shevana Laput imposed their length after combining for 20 points while Mars Alba orchestrated their fluid offense with 15 excellent sets en route to the 10th victory of the season for the Lady Spikers.
“We have to build our confidence as we close out the second round. It will help us in the semifinals and if we can make it to the finals,” said La Salle assistant coach Noel Orcullo.
The Lady Spikers were in full control throughout the first set with Canino pressing the attack, highlighted by a block on Stephanie Bustrillo and a piercing hit on the back row, for a 22-14 La Salle advantage.
Jewel Encarnacion’s spike sailed beyond the end line and Euricka Eslapor duplicated the act in the next sequence, making the conditions lighter for the Lady Spikers to close it out.
There was no drastic shift in the second frame as the Lady Spikers again zoomed ahead, 17-9, on Jolina Dela Cruz’s down-the-line strike and Alyssa Bertolano’s unforced error.
Back-to-back blocks by Fifi Sharma and Canino, a push by Amie Provido and two hasty errors by the Lady Maroons put La Salle on the threshold of securing the set before Gagate’s lightning kill.
Already out of the running for a semifinal appearance, the Lady Maroons led for the first time, 6-5, in three sets with Arce’s ace.
Ethan Lainne Arce, however, mishandled on the receiving end in the succeeding play and Bea Bonafe misfired her spike prior to three consecutive points by Canino capped by her pair of aces as the Lady Spikers gradually built a five-point cushion and pulled away for good.
The Lady Maroons fell to an eighth straight defeat, their 10th overall in 11 outings.