La Salle maximizes ceiling advantagev vs Ateneo

La Salle maximizes ceiling advantage, makes short work of Ateneo

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:25 AM March 03, 2024

Thea Gagate La Salle beats Ateneo UAAP volleyball

La Salle’s Thea Gagate against Ateneo in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.–UAAP PHOTO

Looking back at the defeat they absorbed at the hands of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses, the La Salle Lady Spikers wished they could have put their height and length to great use.

“We weren’t able to maximize our strength. Our middle somehow got limited in that game,’’ said La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus.


If the Lady Spikers have their way, that’s not going to happen anymore.


READ: La Salle beats Ateneo for 14th straight time in UAAP volleyball

The defending champions intend to impose their size advantage over the rest of the field for the remainder of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.

They began on Saturday night, unlocking their 6-foot-2 middle blockers in a 25-12, 25-22, 25-19 rout of rival Ateneo at SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Thea Gagate punched in 15 points while Shevana Laput added 13 in the win that gave the Lady Spikers a 3-1 (win-loss) record.

READ: UAAP volleyball: Ramil de Jesus sees promise in rebuilding Ateneo

Angel Canino had 10 points, Julia Coronel tossed 16 excellent sets and La Salle began cleaning up the mess the team was in a five-set defeat to the smaller but quicker Tigresses in a previous match.

La Salle beats Ateneo UAAP volleyball

La Salle Lady Spikers celebrate against Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.–UAAP PHOTO

“Our timing was off back then, we were disorganized. We managed to correct these mistakes and should be able to sustain it in our succeeding games,’’ said De Jesus.

La Salle’s win kept it tied with National University at second place. The Lady Bulldogs notched their third win in four games by crushing free-falling University of the Philippines, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17.

Lyann De Guzman led the Blue Eagles with 15 points, including 13 attacks, and had one block and an ace as they dropped another game, their third in four matches following a breakthrough win over University of the Philippines.

13th straight defeat

It was the Blue Eagles 13th straight defeat at the hands of the Lady Spikers since La Salle defeated them in Game 1 of their championship series in Season 79 back in 2017. But De Jesus isn’t counting.

“I’m not really looking at the rivalry (against Ateneo). Every game for us is big regardless who we face,’’ said De Jesus. “It just so happened that we enjoy a long winning tradition over Ateneo.’’Gagate, Laput and Canino took turns establishing La Salle’s dominance over its rebuilding rivals. Canino scored on a powerful cross-court kill and Laput wrapped up the first set with an ace.

“We really made big adjustments the past week since that (UST) loss and I’m happy to see that we applied them in this game,’’ said Canino, last season’s rookie-MVP.

The Blue Eagles stormed back in the second set with De Guzman helping her squad tie the game at 21.

But Laput again tallied an ace and Canino scored on a kill to put the Lady Spikers up, two sets to none, and take the fight out of their rivals.

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La Salle cruised in the third set with Gagate nailing a kill and a block to seal the victory.

TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, La Salle Lady Spikers, UAAP

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