The DLSU Lady Spikers clinched their second consecutive victory in the second round after dismantling the gutsy NU Lady Bulldogs in four sets, 25-21, 25-11, 15-25, 25-12. Kim Dy led the streaking Lady Spikers with 17 points on 12 attacks, three service aces, and two blocks. Losing to La Salle for the second time this season, Jorelle Singh scored 12 points off nine spikes, two service aces, and a block for NU.
Head coach Ramil De Jesus praised the team after the game. “Yung pagiging aggressive nila sa floor defense and doon sa blocking. Yung first set close hanggang dulo, siguro breaks lang yung first set.” ([They were] aggressive on floor defense and on blocking. The first set was close until the end, but those were breaks of the game).
The Lady Spikers opened the game on a good note, taking an early 8-6 advantage heading into the first technical timeout of the first set. With potent offense and a little help from errors by NU, La Salle showed that its momentum from their previous game carried over.
With DLSU leading, 11-7, an error from Aduke Ogusanya gave way to their opponents to score four straight points to even the set a 11-all. NU fought back with the offense brought about by its hitters and consequently, the Lady Spikers were unable to receive their opponents’ attacks. Midway through the first, they seemed out of sync defensively.
This would eventually change with the Green-and-White getting on track offensively and defensively. May Luna showed potential early on, providing vital offense to La Salle, scoring five points in the game. Desiree Cheng capped a four-point run with a block to close the first set, 25-21.
The Lady Spikers quickly turned their offensive tempo around by the second set. However, Jaja Santiago, who finished with 9 points, retaliated by scoring a kill on DLSU’s Dawn Macandili. The domination for La Salle in the second set would continue as its players continued to hustle for loose balls.
At 11-6, Kim Fajardo displayed her trickery, fooling the defense and catching them off guard. The set would continue in DLSU’s favor with the Lasallians finishing the second set, 25-11, with a 4-0 run. Macandili showcased her prowess defensively, taking care of La Salle’s floor defense with 21 excellent digs. It had seemed that La Salle had found its composure to close out sets.
Both squads started the third set slowly by trading errors. With two sets to its advantage, La Salle began to show complacency as it continuously committed errors. The Lady Bulldogs managed to capitalized on DLSU’s 14 errors in the set alone.
Despite each attempt from the Lady Spikers to get back on track, the Lady Bulldogs simply overpowered the latter as they seemed lost on defense. De Jesus placed in a number of bench players to provide the team more energy. Michelle Cobb, Norielle Ipac, and Arriane Layug were inserted, but NU hung on to win the set, 25-15.
It had seemed the Lady Bulldogs had the momentum coming into the fourth set, but the Lady Spikers caught them off guard, jumping to an early 11-1 lead. DLSU regained its composure as veterans Majoy Baron and Dy began breaking down the NU defense. While Dy provided the offense La Salle crucially needed, Baron showcased her frenetic defense, recording 15 points, six of which came from blocks. While Baron had a handful of rejections, NU was only able to record four blocks compared to her six.
La Salle will next face the UP Lady Maroons on Sunday, March 19, at 4 pm in the FilOil Flying V Centre. De Jesus comments, “May advantage yung UP na kailangan magawan ng paraan para pagdating naming ng Sunday, ready kami. May galaw yung UP na mahirap intindihin.” (UP has an advantage, so we have to come up with a way to be ready on Sunday. UP’s movement is hard to predict.)
The following games will be vital for the team as La Salle will seek to book a seat in the Final Four. “Gusto ko ma-secure kami sa 1 and 2 [place], yun yung target talaga namin para may advantage pagdating ng semis,” De Jesus says. (I want to secure a top two finish. Our target is to get the [twice-to-beat] advantage in the semis.)
DLSU 90- Dy 17, Baron 15, Cheng 6, Fajardo 6, Luna 5, Ogunsanya 4, Tiamzon 2, Ipac 1
NU 69- Singh 12, Santiago 9, Urdas 7, Paran 5, Sato 5, Nabor 2, Doromal 1