With their fifth consecutive win, the De La Salle University Lady Spikers have locked up the last twice-to beat advantage with a decisive straight-set win over the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21, today at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Tigresses opened the match with vigor, smashing the La Salle reception to negotiate a three-point lead that persisted until 18-15. With La Salle open hitter Desiree Cheng at the service line, La Salle won the next three points to force a tie. The Lady Spikers’ second open hitter, Tin Tiamzon, pushed the Lady Spikers to a 24-21 lead, setting up Kianna Dy’s set-clinching soft hit.
The Lady Spikers then used a mid-set spurt to dominate the second set. A left ankle injury to Dy almost derailed La Salle in the third set. But a scrappy Lady Spikers squad hunkered down and pulled away late thanks to their signature blocks.
“Kanina, medyo masama ang service receive namin at maraming service error. This Saturday, mas babalikan namin yung mga mistakes namin, and hopefully ‘pag dating ng Adamson game, maayos na namin,” admitted La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus.
When it came to Dy’s mild left ankle sprain, De Jesus declared he had been confident that La Salle could close the match.
“Confident naman ako kasi nagpa-practice naman ang mga players. Sabi ko doon sa pumalit (Arianne Layug), ito na ‘yung break mo, baka hindi na maulit yan, hindi natin kailangan si Kianna Dy para manalo ngayong oras na ito. Yung pumalit, okay naman.”
Opposite spiker Dy still finished with 12 points, while Cheng led the way with 13.
La Salle (10-2) next face the University of the East Lady Warriors (1-11) on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, before ending their elimination round on April 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum against arch-rivals Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles.
Cherry Rondina topped UST with 13 points, while Mary Pacres added 11.
UST are now tied with the National University and University of the Philippines at third place with a 7-5 record. They take on the Lady Maroons on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, before ending the elims on April 8 against FEU (6-6).
DLSU (3) – Cheng 13, Dy 12, Tiamzon 11, Baron 7, Fajardo 6, Ogunsanya 4, Layug 0, Saga 0, Maandili (L)
UST (0) – Rondina 13, Laure 11, Pacres 10, Cabanos 1, Lastimosa 2, Meneses 1, Cortez 0, Palec 0, Sandoval 0, Rivera (L)