Facing off against a fiery rookie, the De La Salle University Lady Spikers needed to dig deep to slip past the short-handed National University Lady Bulldogs, 25-10, 20-25, 27-25, 25-22, and stay unbeaten in UAAP Season 81 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
After taking the opening set handily, La Salle figured in their closest encounters of the season so far. Errors plagued the Lady Spikers and allowed NU to grab a 16-12 in the second set. La Salle then tried to rally, coming within one, 20-21. But NU finished off the Lady Spikers with a flurry of kills from Princess Robles and Ivy Lacsina.
The rookie Robles again starred for National U in the third set, firing off attacks that kept her team afloat in a tight finish. After Robles tied the set at 25, Lacsina followed with a costly attack error. La Salle then responded in the next point with a picturesque transition play for May Luna.
NU still kept the fourth set close, but could not match La Salle’s balanced attack.
La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus rued his team’s lack of focus on the service line as the root of their struggle.
“Sa player ko na yun eh. Sabi ko sa kanila, ‘pag ganoong pagkakamali, lalo na sa service, kayo na yun. Hindi na pwedeng isisi pa sa kalaban yun. Kayo yun, kayo yung lumabas sa service area, kayo magse-serve, lahat yun kayo gagawa,” said De Jesus.
“Kung mali yun, tayo ang may mali, hindi yung kalaban. So doon ako medyo na-frustrate. Ikaw na yan eh. Parang sa basketball, free throw yan, araw-araw mong ginagawa mo yan. Kung ma-shoot mo, eh ‘di okay. Eh ang nangyari, kapos, hindi man lang tumama ng ring,” he added.
May Luna led a balanced La Salle effort with 14 points, while Aduke Ogunsanya added a career-high 13 markers.
Robles finished with a game-high 18 points, while Lacsina managed 16.
Both teams play their next matches at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. La Salle (3-0) will take on the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons (2-1) on Saturday. On the other hand, National U (1-2) face the Adamson University Lady Falcons (0-2) on Sunday.
DLSU (3) – Luna 14, Ogunsanya 13, Cheng 12, Dela Cruz 12, Ipac 6, Clemente 5, Cobb 4, Alba 0, Inistrella 0, Tiamzon 0, Saga (L)
NU (1) – Robles 18, Lacsina 16, Paran 11, Doria 6, Luceno 6, Chavez 0, Landicho 0, Orillaneda 0, Nierva (L)