The Lady Spikers have learned not to dwell on the past.
Four times. That's the number of matches that the De La Salle University Lady Spikers were forced to four sets or more in the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball tournament.
Out of those four times, they fell to a 1-2 hole and eventually a defeat just once this season, against the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses. Their first and only loss of the season.
They weren't about to let it happen again.
On Wednesday, the league-leading Lady Spikers overcame a 1-2 deficit against number two team Adamson Lady Falcons to snatch the victory in five sets, 25-17, 25-27, 23-25, 25-23, 15-9.
Super rookie Angel Canino, who scored a season-high 28 points despite a bum shoulder, said the match served as a test of character for the Lady Spikers, who now bear an 11-1 record.
"Nakita namin kung ano kami at paano kami lumaban sa game," she told the media after the match.
"May pagdadaanan kayong paghihirap. Paghuhugutan niyo para pagdating ng ganitong labanan, lalabas 'yung character. Kailangan hindi magpatalo. Lumabas naman," assistant coach Noel Orcullo added.
The key, Canino said, was not to allow past losses to haunt them.
"Sinabi ko sa sarili ko, kalimutan na 'yung nangyari. Look forward in the present. Dapat focused sa kung ano 'yung nasa harap. 'Wag mag-dwell sa ano nangyari in the past, mada-down ka lang," she said. "'Wag mo na dagdagan ng mali."
"At least, nakuha sa tiyaga," Orcullo added. "Tiyagain lang, gapangin natin."
La Salle has already clinched a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. They only have a couple of matches left against the already-eliminated Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles and the University of the East Lady Red Warriors.
Orcullo hopes a previous lesson would be ingrained in the Lady Spikers' character. And that is to avoid treating their bottom-dwelling opponents lightly.
"We treat our opponents with respect. So kahit wala sila sa Final Four, kailangan ipakita kung ano ang kaya namin," Canino noted.
(With reports from Mei-Lin Lozada, One Sports Digital)