WAR OF HEARTS: Lady Spikers, Lady Eagles in series decider

Mark Escarlote on Apr 29, 2016 03:58 PM
WAR OF HEARTS: Lady Spikers, Lady Eagles in series decider
It all boils down on who wants it more.

Throw all the statics away. Strategy and game plans won’t matter.

It all boils down on who wants it more.

Two-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University and arch rival De La Salle University clash in a winner-take-all Game 3 of the 78th UAAP women’s volleyball title series on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.        

Game time is set at 3:30 p.m. with live telecast over ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23, ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and via livestream at sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap.

Ateneo assistant coach Parley Tupaz believes that the only thing that both team’s coaching staff could do in Game 3 is to decide on who will take the floor, the rest will be at the hands of each side’s players.

“Wala na ‘yan. Wala ng adjustments. Puso na lang ang labanan d’yan,” said Tupaz. “Kung sino ang mas uhaw siya ang mananalo.”

The Lady Eagles, who were led by three-time Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez, showed the true heart of a champion last Wednesday as Ateneo fought back from two sets down to complete one of the biggest comebacks in league history, 18-25, 26-28, 25-17, 25-16, 15-11, to force the decider in the rivalry’s fifth straight Finals series.

Valdez scored 34 points in the last game including five in a row in Game 2 to once again save Ateneo and extend her swan song for the blue and white in a final showdown with the Lady Spikers.

The two proud schools split the first four championship duels with the Taft-based squad owning Seasons 74 and 75 before Ateneo captured the next two including a rare tournament sweep last year.

This match will be the decider on probably the greatest rivalry between the green and blue with graduating players Valdez, Amy Ahomiro and Mae Tajima on Ateneo side while Mika Reyes, Cyd Demecillo, Ara Galang, Mika Esperanza and Carol Cerveza looking to help DLSU regain its lost glory before closing their collegiate careers.

The Lady Eagles and Lady Spikers are also tied in their season tournament head-to-head, 2-2. DLSU broke Ateneo’s 24-game winning streak in the first round with a sweep before the Lady Eagles outlasted the Lady Spikers in a five-setter in the second round.

DLSU drew first blood in the championship series last week, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21, before squandering its first chance for redemption.

“Matagal na kaming magkalaban ng La Salle (sa season na ito). Nagkasilipan na kami ng baraha, wala na kaming maitatago pa,” Tupaz said.       

DLSU athletic director Nongnong Calanog agrees with the Lady Eagles coach Tai Bundit’s deputy. 

“It’s now a matter of who wants it more,” said the school official.

 

 

 

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