Dramatic comeback: Lady Spikers a win away from title
|March 2, 2013||By Adiel Sam De Jesus, Joaqui Flores and Ronaldo Manzano under Sports|
Down two sets to none, the DLSU Lady Spikers ignited an inspired comeback after nabbing the last three consecutive sets in the team’s 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6 thriller earlier today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ara Galang led the ladies from Taft with 17 points while veterans Michelle Gumabao and Abigail Maraño combined for 30 points and four blocks.
Lady Spiker Head Coach Ramil de Jesus shared, “Siguro mas kailangan namin magconcentrate sa blocking kasi first two sets disorganized blocking namin then nakabalik sa third, fourth and fifth [set].”
Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez scored a team-high of 17 points while Fille Cainglet added 14.
With a back and forth exchange to start the first set, both teams were knotted at eight points.
Ateneo then raced to a 7 point lead, 20-13. The Lady Eagles eventually won the first set with a score of 25-20 behind Fille Cainglet’s spike, which was mishandled by La Salle’s Mika Esperanza.
La Salle lost again in the second set. Behind Dzi Gervacio, Ateneo turned a 9-6 La Salle lead into a 14-9 advantage, highlighted by three service aces. La Salle’s errors led to a 25-17 loss in the second canto.
The flurry of errors by the Lady Spikers continued in the third set as Ateneo raced to an 8-3 lead heading into the first technical timeout.
The defending champion, however, managed to claw back, tying the set at 13 before taking a two point lead at 15-13.
Alyssa Valdez stepped up for the reeling Blue-and-White with back-to-back aces to tie the game once more at 19.
The lead went back and forth before Michelle Gumabao’s tip gave the Lady Spikers the third set, 25-22.
On all cylinders
Mika Reyes, who struggled in the first three sets, came through when La Salle needed her most, combining with Demecillo to give La Salle a 19-17 lead.
Successive errors though aided Ateneo and the set was tied at 20 heading into the final stretch.
Ateneo’s seven players gave La Salle a 23-22 lead. La Salle’s Ara Galang followed it up with another point to stretch the lead to two. Reyes then capped off an the set with an attack to win the round, 25-22.
Reyes and Demecillo scored four points apiece to help the squad from Taft set a fifth and final set.
Sealing the game shut
The fifth set started out with three successive deadlocks, but the Lady Spikers pulled away early to take the lead behind sophomore Demecillo who scored an ace to put the team up, 9-5.
La Salle dominated the succeeding balls to make a rally. A powerful spike from Gumabao won the last set, 15-6.
One more win
With the finals opening match officially in the books, La Salle has a better chance of nabbing its third straight championship this coming Wednesday, 4 pm at the Mall of Asia Arena.