The only team that defeated La Salle this season has been eliminated.
Not this time, said the De La Salle University Lady Spikers.
After tasting their only defeat in the elimination round of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament at the hands of the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses, the Lady Spikers made sure to get their revenge on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum—and under the bright lights of the Final Four no less.
La Salle would go on to grab an exhilarating four-set victory over the UST, 26-24, 25-22, 20-25, 25-19, to advance to the finals.
The win marked the Lady Spikers’ 20th finals appearance in the UAAP. They are happy to get back at UST, but the squad from Taft is looking at bigger things, specifically, the championship.
"Hindi pa tapos ‘to. Mahaba pa kaya kailangan pa namin mag-training at mag-improve pa,” assistant coach Noel Orcullo told reporters after the game.
Super rookie Angel Canino led the Lady Spikers once more, posting a game-high 19 points on 18 attacks to go along with 10 excellent digs.
“Sobrang proud lang sa team kasi alam namin kung ano pinagdaanan namin para makapunta dito,” said Canino.
Outside hitter Alleiah Malaluan, who came off the bench and added 9 points for La Salle, also made her presence felt. The 5-foot-10 sophomore had been hobbled by a knee injury this season, but she is starting to find her groove again, ready to make a splash as a key contributor for the title-seeking Lady Spikers.
“Mindset ko lang is if ever the team needs me, mag-step up ako kasi alam ko kaya namin eh, kaya namin talunin ang UST ng isang laro lang,” said Malaluan.
La Salle will now await the winner of the Final Four matchup between the National University Lady Bulldogs, who hold a twice-to-beat advantage, and the third-seeded Adamson University Lady Falcons.