Final Four-bound La Salle vows to keep on working to maximize strengths
MANILA, Philippines — Despite clinching the twice-to-beat incentive in the Final Four, La Salle Lady Spikers know they still have a lot of areas in their game to address as they play their last two assignments of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament elimination round.
After the Lady Spikers won 11 of their 12 games, Thea Gagate said her team remained focused on limiting their errors and maximizing their strengths before they play in the Final Four in two weeks.
“We still have to lessen our errors as a team and we have to think of the [skills department] where we can dominate. We have to keep working in training,” said Gagate in Filipino after tallying a career-high 22 points built on 19 attacks and three blocks in their five-set win over Adamson last Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle will wrap up its elimination round against also-ran teams Ateneo on Sunday at MOA Arena and the winless University of the East on Wednesday next week at FilOil EcoOil Centre before heading to its 13th straight Final Four appearance.
Although they will play a different rivalry game against an already-eliminated Blue Eagles, the 6-foot-2 middle blocker stressed that they have to treat their rivals with the same respect.
Gagate was glad to see the Lady Spikers’ character against the Lady Falcons, fighting back from a 1-2 match deficit to pull off a thrilling 25-17, 25-27, 23-25, 25-23, 15-9 win, led by Angel Canino’s 28-point explosion.
“We’re very grateful because each one of us fought well. We won’t be able to get that win if we will not work hard for it and will not embrace our role as individuals and as a team,” said Gagate in Filipino. “We just reminded ourselves to focus on the present and keep on persevering. If anyone commits a mistake, we need to stay focused on our role and believe that we can do it.”
The reigning 1st Best Middle Blocker is currently the 10th Best Scorer with a total of 138 points and the league’s top blocker with 0.67 blocks per set in 12 games, leading the best blocking team, La Salle, which averages 2.76 blocks per frame.