Madalas umiiyak yan sa training -- De Jesus on Finals MVP Cheng
Siyempre first naman po hindi ko naman ine-expect na maging Finals MVP. Ang hangad ko talaga is 'yung big trophy, 'yung championship talaga -- Desiree Cheng
Coming off a knee injury that forced her to skip one season, many thought that Desiree Cheng would struggle in her return to De La Salle University.
They were correct, actually.
She started the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament flat.
DLSU’s open spikers were suspect and Cheng drew criticisms with her subpar game.
She took it as a challenge and worked her way to earn back the trust of head coach Ramil De Jesus.
The third-year hitter stepped up big time in the most important couple of games for the Taft-based squad and helped the green and white bag its second straight title with a best-of-three Finals series sweep of archrival Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles.
Cheng finished with 12 points and chipped in on defense with 13 excellent receptions and 12 digs in the Lady Spikers’ title-clinching 19-25, 25-14, 18-25, 25-18, 15-10, Game 2 win Saturday at the Big Dome.
All her hard work paid off and she was rewarded with the Finals Most Valuable Player.
Not bad for a player that was forced to watch her team recapture the throne last year after sustaining a left ACL tear in an exhibition game in Ozamiz City months before the start of Season 78.
“No, no talaga (di ko in-expect),” said Cheng. “Siyempre first naman po hindi ko naman ine-expect na maging Finals MVP. Ang hangad ko talaga is 'yung big trophy, 'yung championship talaga.”
De Jesus praised Cheng’s determination to contribute for the squad.
“Natutuwa ako sa kanya kasi noong nag-start ang season medyo mababa ang performance. Unti-unting nag-step up,” he said.
“Madalas ngang umiiyak ito sa training. Kasi sabi ko hindi pwedeng ganyang klase ang galaw mo, hindi aabot yan,” De Jesus added. “Sabi ko pagbalik mo itong Season 79 dapat ibang Des Cheng ang darating dito. Mas higit pang Des Cheng.”
De Jesus also lauded how Cheng helped the team on floor defense especially in the Finals.
And she deserved the individual accolade that served as the icing on the cake for the 5-foot-8 spiker.
“Siguro nakita ko ‘yung 100% sa receive, and then malaking bagay ‘yun para sa team para makapag-execute ng play si (Kim) Fajardo,” he said.
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