Ateneo was going to live and die with Alyssa Valdez in game 3
Paul Lintag on May 01, 2016 12:35 AM
The Ateneo Lady Eagles were going to live and die with Alyssa Valdez in the UAAP Season 78 Finals because they simply had no other choice.
For the Ateneo Lady Eagles, there was really only one way to win a third consecutive UAAP championship.
And that was if three-time Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez can take them to the promise land one more time.
The Lady Eagles actually did that against La Salle in the UAAP Season 78 women's volleyball finals but sadly, it didn't work.
Again in the eyes of ABS-CBN Sports and Action analyst Doc Ian Laurel, who worked the deciding third game at the Araneta Coliseum, Valdez and the Lady Eagles simply ran out.
After an initial storm to snatch the opening set, the Lady Eagles were practically no match to La Salle the rest of the game.
Granted, Valdez put up another herculean effort to finish with 31 points, but it just came up a little short considering she already carried her team with 34 in five sets just three days ago.
In the three-game series, Valdez averaged 27.3 points, 25.6 points and a block. The San Juan, Batangas native got little support from her teammates as Jhoana Maraguinot, was the only other Lady Eagles to average in double figures in the Finals with 11 poiints per outing.
"For the side of Ateneo, obviously first set binuhos lahat. Whether it was done intentionally or not, I think they suffered in the end by doing that," Laurel told ABS-CBN Sports. "Naubusan ika nga, nakita naman natin how hard it was for Alyssa to get attacks across the net in the crucial fourth set."
Inexperience on the part of Ateneo's supporting cast also played a factor in the loss.
"The talent obviously is there, kita naman natin sa quality ng players but the experience, that's the one that takes some time," he added. "Experience-wise, La Salle was the more experienced team."
However, for the most part, Ateneo really had no other choice but to feed Valdez over and over.
The Lady Eagles were simply going to live and die with Valdez and against La Salle, Ateneo just died in game 3.
"Ganoon talaga ang diskarte dun, you rely on the MVP, maski saan sport naman," Laurel said. "Kung nasa team mo ang MVP, syempre siya ang no. 1 option and Ateneo is no different that's why Alyssa could have been burn out but that's the way it goes."
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