The DLSU Green Spikers swept the ADMU Blue Eagles once again to take their best-of-three semifinal matchup, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19, earlier today, September 24, at the Paco Arena.
In the win, team captain JM Ronquillo notched a game-high 16 points on 15 attacks with just 33 attempts. Also notching double-digits were wing spikers Noel Kampton and Vince Maglinao, who each had 13 and 10 markers in the game. Maglinao further recorded 10 excellent digs in a well-rounded performance. In the end, it was Nat Del Pilar who was distinguished as the Player of the Game after recording 7 points with two blocks.
For the ADMU Blue Eagles, Kennedy Batas led the scoring with nine points.
The DLSU Green Spikers struggled with errors throughout the first two sets, tallying nine in the first frame alone. Despite this, the Green and White managed to go up two sets to none behind their strong team defense. Stepping up in the matchup was Simon Encarnacion, who was slotted in place of usual setter Poqs Poquita to orchestrate the La Salle offense.
The team from Taft continued to rack up errors, opening up the third and giving Ateneo five points immediately to allow them to remain on their heels, 8-6, to enter the first technical timeout of the set. DLSU continued to showcase their high-octane offense to score off hits from Eric Layug, Kampton, and Maglinao, but ADMU stayed within striking distance after some defensive lapses by La Salle, 13-12.
One set win away from the finals, the team from Taft ignited a run after a Maglinao block and dunk by Del Pilar were succeeded by a pair of kills by Kampton, 17-13. It was relatively smooth sailing from there for the Green and White as a service error from their rivals put them on set point before Ronquillo hammered one home for the game and the series, 25-19.
After playing a crucial role on both ends of his team’s win, Maglinao shared how he and the team shook off their losses versus Ateneo to end the elimination round and open the semis, “[Coming off] back-to-back losses versus ADMU, naisip naming bawat isa, ayaw lang namin matalo. Masakit matalo, lalo na syempre [sa] Ateneo-La Salle game. It’s a different game lagi.”
(…we all thought to ourselves, we just don’t want to lose. It hurts to lose, especially in am Ateneo-La Salle game.)
Player of the Game Del Pilar was happy with his performance, but he has bigger goals in mind as La Salle continues their impressive V-League run and looks to avenge their prior loss in the tournament to UST, “Syempre masaya, malaking boost [para sa’kin] going into the finals.”
(Of course, I’m happy, it’s a big boost for me going into the finals.)
With their sights set on the championship trophy, Maglinao invites the Lasallian community to support the Green Spikers when they face the UST Growling Tigers on Wednesday at 4 pm at the same venue.
DLSU 3 – Ronquillo 16, Kampton 13, Maglinao 10, Layug 9, Del Pilar 7, Encarnacion 1
ADMU 0 – Batas 9, Pacinio 6, Gopio 5, Salarzon 5, Garcia 4
Set Scores: 25-17, 25-19, 25-19