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Galang foresees challenging Season 78 return



The De La Salle University Lady Spikers proved last UAAP Season 77 that injuries can decide championships in sports.

Last March 7, the Lady Archers clinched their seventh consecutive UAAP Finals appearance but lost their captain, Ara Galang, in the process.

The 5’8″ open hitter had been playing her best college season and had the NU Lady Bulldogs on the ropes with another valiant scoring effort before tearing the ACL and MCL on her left knee in set four of the Finals-clinching match.

Galang had done just enough to bring her team to the Finals, but had to watch helplessly from the sidelines as the Lady Spikers fell for a second straight season to the Ateneo Lady Eagles.

Since then, Galang has been working hard in rehab and, just last month, got medical clearance to fully participate in practice.

Tiebreaker Times caught up with the Pampanga native who says that the shift in schedule in the UAAP turned out to be a blessing. “Kung iisipin mo, dapat ngayon naglalaro na kami kung dating schedule ‘yung masusunod. Ngayon may time pa ako makapagtraining ng matagal para maging maayos ‘yung pagbalik ko.”

Rehab had frustrated the former UAAP MVP, admittedly. “Sobrang nakaka-frustrate, for me, ‘yung rehab process. Kasi lagi na lang ‘yun ‘yung gagawin mo -lift weights, strengthening. Then makikita ko ‘yung teammates ko nagpa-practice na may bola. Nakakainggit talaga.Pakiramdam ko, kung walang kang patience, talagang mag-gigive up ka.”

Her injuries, however, haven’t gotten in the way of her supporting her teammates throughout the off-season competitions. “Happy ako and proud for them kasi nakikita ko ‘yung improvement nila and nagmamature talaga sila. Magiging key for us ‘yung mga natutunan nila pagsimula ng season.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Galang foresees challenging Season 78 return

Still, Galang is aware that La Salle will need her in peak shape to reclaim the UAAP crown. “May pressure talaga sa akin. But, hindi ko na siya tinetake as pressure – ginagamit ko na lang siya as motivation.”

But she has also revealed that she might not be the team captain anymore come the season’s start with senior setter, Mika Espeperanza returning from her own ACL tear. “Last year kasi, hindi naman talaga dapat ‘yung captain pero since na-injure si Ate Mika, sa akin napunta. Pero, since babalilk na siya, baka sa kanya na ibigay. Matagal na rin akong nahiwalay sa team so tama lang,” Galang shared.

For some programs, two years isn’t a long wait for a championship. But for DLSU, a school that has won eight of the past 15 UAAP Seasons, two years is exasperating.

“For us, our focus is to get better every day. Alam naman namin na wala namang nagchachampion in one game. Kaya every day, every training nagtutulungan kami. Pag start ng season, ready na kami and with every game, susubukan namin mag-build ng confidence,” Galang closed.

Opening day of the UAAP will be on January 30.


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.