Enigma solved: De Jesus breaks down Ateneo's Achilles' heel

Mark Escarlote on Feb 27, 2016 11:31 PM
Enigma solved: De Jesus breaks down Ateneo's Achilles' heel
De La Salle University clamped down on defense to contain Alyssa Valdez of Ateneo de Manila.

De La Salle University head coach Ramil De Jesus finally cracked the code in defeating a seemingly invincible defending champion Ateneo de Manila.

After six straight defeats at the hands of the Lady Eagles dating back to Season 76 championship series where they were dethroned by Ateneo, De Jesus solved the puzzle of how to defeat their bitter rival.

The formula: contain Alyssa Valdez and take advantage of the Lady Eagles’ brittle floor defense. 

DLSU executed its game plan perfectly to shock the Katipunan-based squad, 25-22, 25-14, 25-18, Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Finals in the 78th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Big Dome.

The Lady Spikers built a solid frontline defense to slow down reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player Valdez, who was held to only 11 points. 

DLSU found a way to silence Valdez as the Queen Eagle struggled to penetrate the Taft-based squad’s defensive wall of Majoy Baron, Mika Reyes and Kim Dy, hitting a 10-of-33 spiking clip.               

“Alam naman natin na ang Ateneo almost 50% ng attack na kay Alyssa. So the more na napipigil mo si Alyssa parang mas madaling ma-control ang Ateneo,” said De Jesus, whose wards halted Ateneo’s 24-game winning streak to assure a Final Four format this season.

What gave Valdez a hard time to get her usual numbers was the fact that the Lady Eagles were unable to control the first ball.          

“Nawalan din sila ng receive so madaming situation na nahihirapan din umatake si Alyssa,” added De Jesus, whose team in the past two years were given a lot of headaches by Ateneo's prized libero Denden Lazaro and Elle De Jesus - who both graduated after last season's title run.

Ateneo had a total of 16 perfect reception, half of it coming from Valdez. The Lady Eagles got 19 digs overall, just three more than the total digs shoveled by DLSU libero Dawn Macandili. DLSU punctured Ateneo's floor defense with 13 service aces - seven coming from Kim Fajardo - while the Lady Eagles shot their own foot with 22 errors including 11 in the opening frame.    

“Based naman dun sa statistics kapag titingnan mo, hindi naman sila ganoon kagaling sa receive,” said De Jesus of Ateneo’s defense. “Number one sila sa attack pero hindi naman sila ganoon kagaling sa receive.”

Without good reception, Ateneo playmaker Jia Morado was also taken out of her comfort zone as the reigning Best Setter barely dished out double-digit excellent sets with 10 in 67 attempts.     

Watch the full interview here: 


#UAAPSeason78Volleyball DLSU coach Ramil De Jesus talks about their strategy in shooting down Ateneo

Posted by ABS-CBN Sports on Saturday, February 27, 2016



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