La Salle, Benilde ready for collegiate season after title romps
La Salle and St. Benilde got just the perfect results they needed in their preseason buildups for their respective collegiate tournaments Friday after topping the V-League Collegiate Challenge.
The Green Spikers outsteadied University of Santo Tomas, 25-22, 27-29, 29-27, 25-18 while the Lady Blazers ripped Far Eastern, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18, to capture the men’s and women’s titles via sweeps before a rowdy Paco Arena crowd in Manila.
“Through their (Green Spikers) determination, we finally got a championship,” acting La Salle coach Jose Roque told the Inquirer after the celebration died down. “I told the team that if we give our fullest trust to ourselves, we will go a long way. Somehow that’s the preparation that I gave them, the heart to fight.”
It was the second straight four-set win over the Golden Spikers, installing La Salle as a solid title contender for the coming UAAP season.
“I am so happy, this is the moment that I have been waiting for,” Roque said. “Maybe the other teams would need to watch out for us. This might be the time that others will finally look up to us.”
Hours before, it was the Lady Blazers who celebrated and announced their readiness to win it all when the NCAA season comes around.
“We went through a lot like any normal team [but] we kept on reminding ourselves that we worked hard starting from the eliminations to semifinals so we didn’t want to let go now that we reached the finals,” said Benilde assistant coach Mycah Go.
“It would have been a waste for us if we didn’t sustain our effort.”
Benilde’s Gayle Pascual, who contributed seven points in the championship-clinching game, was named the Finals MVP and Best Opposite Spiker, while Perpetual Help’s Mary Rhose Dapol was MVP.