Even if the De La Salle University Lady Spikers paraded a new starting six, they still had the same championship composure.
The Taft-based lady spikers eked out a tight 29-27, 25-22, 25-23 win over their opponents in last season’s semifinals, Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, in their UAAP Season 79 debut at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
La Salle dominated the early goings of the match, building a five-point lead in the first set, 16-11. The Lady Tamaraws, though got their legs beneath them and nibbled at the deficit until they forced a deuce thanks to hits from Toni Basas and La Salle’s errors. La Salle then responded, finally getting the separation after a Majoy Baron hit-then-ace sequence. La Salle avoided another near-collapse in the second set, stopping a late FEU rally to take a 2-0 lead.
The third set again came down to the wire with neither team leading by more than two. Down 22-24, FEU received a late boost from a La Salle error. Instead of forcing a deuce, FEU made their own fumble as Toni Basas passed a free ball straight to the net.
“Actually ,‘yun pa ang bini-build ng team eh so hanggang ngayon ‘yung iba medyo alanganin pa doon sa iba’tibang role. hindi pa kilala ang kaya nilang gawin as a player and kung ano ang kaya ng team,” said nine-time UAAP champion coach Ramil de Jesus. “Siguro ngayon medyo nangangapa pa, blessing naman na nanalo kami siguro naka-gain ng confident ‘yun kahit papano para sa team.”
Majoy Baron towed La Salle with 15 points off nine attacks, three blocks, and three aces while last season’s Final MVP Kim Dy tallied 11.
La Salle (1-0) faces the UST Golden Tigresses (0-1) on February 11 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Bernadette Pons led the Lady Tams with 12 points off 11-for-36 attacking but she was the only one in double figures.
FEU (0-1) tries to recover against the Adamson Lady Falcons (0-1) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
DLSU (3) – Baron 15, Dy 11, Ogunsanya 5, Fajardo 4, Cheng 3, Tiamzon 2, Luna 1, Layug 0, Macandili (L)
FEU (0) – Pons 12, Malabanan 7, Basas 6, Palma 5, Cayuna 4, Villareal 2, Negrito 1, Atienza (L)