UAAP: La Salle’s Alleiah Malaluan slowly finding confidence as Final Four nears
MANILA, Philippines—While not being as impactful on offense as she was last season, La Salle’s Alleiah Malaluan is slowly trying to gain her confidence back en route to the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament’s Final Four.
Coming from an outstanding Season 84, Malaluan missed much of the elimination round for the Lady Spikers due to a knee injury.
However, even without Malaluan’s impact of old, La Salle had its best finish in nine years with a 13-1 record at the end of the eliminations after its 25-17, 25-20, 25-17 sweep of University of the East.
In the said win, Malaluan slowly and silently wreaked havoc with six points, which for her was a “confidence booster” of sorts.
“It’s like my confidence went up since in my other games, there were really none [points], so I’m really trying to get my confidence back,” she said at San Juan Arena on Saturday.
However, when asked where she is health-wise, she laughingly said: “I can’t say any numbers.”
Last season, Malaluan was a top five scorer in the league with a total of 193 points built on 171 attacks, 15 aces and seven blocks.
She was also No. 6 in the best server race.
Interim coach Noel Orcullo referred to Malaluan showing up at the most opportune time as a “welcome addition” with Jyne Soreno and Shevana Laput already making names for themselves in the outside and opposite hitter position.
“It’s a welcome addition because Alleiah can play opposite and outside so it’s a big thing that we added more in our arsenal. She can play both and we’re looking at where she would fit in more effectively,” said Orcullo.
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Laput and Soreno chipped in little by little for the top-seeded squad with three and two markers, respectively.
Despite the low scoring from both hitters, the Lady Spikers had no problem swatting the also-ran Lady Red Warriors with Angel Canino showing the way with 13 points to her name in the victory.
With the postseason looming, Malaluan assured that the last year’s runners-up have more in the tank for the most important games of the season.
“This isn’t the 100 percent La Salle just yet. We still have a lot to give.”