La Salle shoots down Ateneo, reclaims UAAP women’s volleyball crown

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The La Salle Lady Spikers took home their ninth championship trophy of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament after getting the better of rivals the Ateneo Lady Eagles, 19-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-16, on Saturday (April 30) at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Kim Kianna Dy paced the Lady Spikers with 17 markers, while MaJoy Baron chipped in with 11.

The reigning MVP Alyssa Valdez picked up where she left off in Game 2 of the series, powering the Lady Eagles to a 10-1 lead in the very first set.

The Lasallians eventually found their groove later on in the set, but failed to prevent their rivals from taking set 1, 25-19.

The second frame saw La Salle go on a run of their own and created a 16-10 cushion. But the Ateneo Lady Eagles clawed their way back to draw level at 19-all.

The run proved to be short-lived as the Lady Spikers stopped the bleeding and walked away with set 2, 25-21.

La Salle fully got into their groove in the third set, as they rushed to an 8-4 lead by the first technical timeout. Ateneo could not stem the tide, as the Lasallians went one set away from the championship.

Unlike Game 2, there was no more spectacular comeback from Ateneo, who trailed by as much as 21-9 in the fourth set. Valdez tried to will back her side into the game, but ultimately fell short as La Salle took the decisive frame, 25-16.

Valdez finished the game with 31 points in her final game for the Lady Eagles.

After the game, La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus could not hide the pride he felt at watching his players claim their winners medals.

“Very proud ako sa kanila. Since after Season 77, nakita nila kung gaano kasakit na matalo,” said De Jesus. “Nag-exert kami sa training the whole year. Pinaghandaan talaga nila, nakatatak sa puso nila, sa isip nila 'yung dapat nilang gawin.”

[Translation: “I am very proud of them. Since after Season 77, they felt how much it hurt to lose. We exerted ourselves in training the whole year. They really prepared for it, it was marked in their hearts, in their minds what they needed to do.”]

Itong year na ito, talagang hindi sila magpapatalo.”

[Translation: This year, there was no way they would allow themselves to be defeated.]