“Walang takot kahit kanino” has always been the mantra of the University of the Philippines.
For the UP Lady Maroons, a team that is experiencing a renaissance in their volleyball program, winning in straight sets over the vaunted De La Salle University Lady Spikers represents more than just a perfect start to UAAP Season 79 — it was a mental hurdle the Lady Maroons have yearned to climb.
The Lady Maroons were absolutely dominant. Beyond the 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 score line, UP showed overall brilliance and steady play that had been La Salle’s trademark during the Ramil De Jesus era.
Each set saw the Lady Maroons overcome a challenge from the Lady Spikers. UP staved off a late run from the Lady Spikers in the first set to take the early lead. The second and third frames had La Salle race to early leads, before UP came roaring back to demoralize the defending champions.
“Alam kasi ng girls ang capablity nila this year. Alam nila na sila ang medyo matured this season dahil sa composition nila. Hindi nila gaano inisip ‘yung pressure, nag-focus sila sa pagbasa ng plays ng La Salle,” said UP assistant coach Rald Ricafort who addressed the media for head coach Jerry Yee who was overcome with emotions.
UP had last recorded a win over La Salle in Season 70, when the Lady Spikers forfeited all their games due to player eligibility.
Graduating open hitter Nicole Tiamzon was an offensive force, dishing out 16 points, while sophomore Tots Carlos added 11.
UP (3-0) next face the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses (1-2) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
La Salle veterans Kianna Dy and Majoy Baron each tallied nine points, as their team only converted 23 attacks.
La Salle (2-1) next take on the National University Lady Bulldos (3-0) also on Sunday.
UP (3) – Tiamzon 16, Carlos 11, Buitre 8, Bersola 6, Molde 6, Estrañero 3, Basarte 0, Dorog (L), Gaiser (L)
DLSU (0) – Baron 9, Dy 9, Ogunsanya 6, Tiamzon 5, Cheng 3, Fajardo 3, Layug 2, Cobb 0, Luna 0, Tiu 0, Macandili (L)
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