Three-time defending champion De La Salle University made short work of University of the East, 25-17, 25-16, 25-19, on Wednesday to secure at least a playoff for a Final Four twice-to-beat advantage in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Spikers stretched their winning streak to five for a 10-3 win-loss record. A win by DLSU on Sunday in a rematch of last year’s Finals against Far Eastern University or a loss by University of Sto. Tomas to National University on Saturday, will give the Lady Spikers the semis advantage outright.
DLSU head coach Ramil de Jesus had the luxury of shuffling his bench and trying out different rotations with Des Cheng, rookie Jolina dela Cruz and Aduke Ogunsanya leading the way.
Ogunsanya and Dela Cruz scored 10 points each while Tin Tiamzon and Des Cheng added nine and eight markers, respectively, for the Lady Spikers, who had 45 spike points. Dela Cruz had 10 digs and six excellent receptions.
“Lagi ko nire-remind ‘yung mga bata na this is a very important game. Huwag magre-relax and ‘wag masyadong overconfident kasi nothing to lose ‘yung UE,” said De Jesus. “Kanina kita mo naman na mula first point hanggang 13th point nadoon ang kapit ng UE, gusto talagang manalo.”
“Medyo lumayo lang nu’ng kontrolado na talaga yung galaw. Lumayo kami and yun tuluy-tuloy na,” he added.
DLSU came back from a 10-12 deficit in the third frame with an 8-2 rally to take the rein, 18-14, before cruising to a straight sets win.
The Lady Warriors, who played without Mean Mendrez (fever and tonsillitis), fell to 3-10 slate.
Judith Abil was the only UE player in double figures with 16 points - all coming off attacks - and added 10 digs and 20 excellent receptions for an all-around game. Seth Rodriguez had seven markers while Selle Baliton and Jasmine Alcayde combined for nine points for the Recto-based squad.
UE will close its season on Sunday against semis-bound Ateneo de Manila University.
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