Aside from the rather quick total match time, the most glaring stat from the Ateneo de Manila University – De La Salle University match on Saturday afternoon was the Lady Eagles’ zero block tally.
Coming into the match, the Ateneo Lady Spikers had led the league in blocking. They met an elusive Lady Spikers side, ready for their long arms.
That, coupled with poor service reception, led to Ateneo falling for the second time to La Salle this season.
Ateneo’s three top blockers Maddie Madayag, Kat Tolentino, and Bea De Leon are not too worried about this turnout having any long-term effects on their team.
“Well, we were expecting hard spikes, and they weren’t giving that much hard spikes – puro long balls, puro cut shots. So… I don’t know, nagulat lang siguro ‘yung mga dume-depensa sa likod or something. Kasi, I mean… Naka-organize naman yung block; it’s just the defense at the back,” said Madayag.
“Sabi ni Coach O (Almadro) na there will be a time na we will beat them talaga. I guess we just have to be patient. He explained na masyado na kaming overconfident? Siguro something like that, kasi yun nga, may streak nga. Mas nagiging siguro malaki na yung ulo kasi nga ganoon.”
Tolentino also sees this loss as needed motivation for the post-season.
“I think it will be a motivation for us. It will teach us a lot about what we need to improve on for the upcoming games. I mean, it’s not over yet. This is still the eliminations. So it’s really just a learning process, and we’ll just bounce back from it, I think,” said the Fil-Canadian opposite hitter
“La Salle really came prepared. They knew how to hit the ball and make their shots. So it’s good for them that they scouted us really well. I think that was a big factor, but of course that doesn’t mean anything. We’re just gonna adjust for next game.”
De Leon chalks this performance up to the law of averages, so she doesn’t put too much stock in today’s loss.
“That’s very uncharacteristic of us na walang blocks. Looking back at the game, they found the ways through it. I barely remember even touching one sa open and stuff kasi binitin na nila na sets sa open nila, they did combinations. They really found ways to do it. Uncharacteristic talaga,” thought the Tarlac-native.
“It’s just another game. The good news is that we did enough to still be No. 1. We’ll make it to where we want naman. It’s just a hiccup. “
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