Lady Eagles lost the heart strong spirit in Game 1 sweep
Mark Escarlote on Apr 23, 2016 07:23 PM
We lacked self-confidence siguro -- Alyssa Valdez
Too tight, too serious and too rusty.
Two-time Most Valuable Player Alysa Valdez admitted that they lost the heart strong spirit Saturday as bitter rival De La Salle waylaid the defending back-to-back champion Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles to start the best-of-three 78th UAAP women’s volleyball Finals series.
What was expected to be a tight ball game turned into a shocking rout with the Lady Eagles ending up on the receiving end of a 22-25, 22-25, 21-25 demolition at the hands of the supposed to be tired Lady Spikers.
“Siguro we really just need to loosen up and just enjoy the game,” said the graduating Valdez, who was the lone bright spot for Ateneo with 17 points.
“(We need to) be happy, play for our teammates, for our coaches and for the people who like support us,” added the 22-year-old spiker from San Juan, Batangas.
The Taft-based squad made it difficult for Valdez to get her numbers, committing two to three blockers to prevent her from hitting her lethal crosscourt kills aside from draining her energy on the receiving end by attacking her defense.
The national team mainstay also pointed out that DLSU’s long journey to their fifth straight championship showdown gave the Lady Spikers an advantage. DLSU played four games in 11 days including a grueling two-game Final Four match with Far Eastern University that ended just three days ago.
Ateneo had a one week rest.
“I guess La Salle really prepared for us super well and they had like tuluy-tuloy na games so I think it worked on their advantage,” said Valdez, who had 15 spikes out of 39 attempts. “And then they really wanna win in today’s game and it really showed in today’s game.”
The Lady Eagles actually started hot, taking a 7-1 lead in the opening set only to see La Salle overtake them in the end. The same thing happened in the next two frames.
“Kahit na umaangat kami sa start ng game, hinahabol talaga nila. They really want to win in this game,” she said.
Experience, Valdez, further pointed out, was DLSU’s biggest advantage.
“Siguro as compared siguro sa team ng La Salle, they are really an experienced team talaga. They’ve been in the Finals for how many years na din with that team, with that core. Yun siguro,” Valdez added.
But more than the Lady Spikers will to win and energy throughout the match, it was the Lady Eagles playing far from the Atene team that won the last two titles including a clean sweep of last year’s contest that did them in.
“We lacked self-confidence siguro,” Valdez admitted. “We’re lacking the killer’s instinct in today’s game and they really gave us a good fight.” “They’re really good and then a’yun nanalo sila,” said the outgoing Queen Eagle. “On to the next game na lang siguro, that’s the goal.”
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