'Hugot' fuels DLSU in series opening win

Mark Escarlote on May 02, 2017 09:41 PM
'Hugot' fuels DLSU in series opening win
Siguro may hugot factor din kami kasi hindi kami nanalo sa kanila sa elimination round and siyempre we really want to defend the crown -- Kim Dy

De La Salle University had enough motivation to get back at bitter rival Ateneo de Manila University.

With their pride wounded in two elimination round meetings, the Lady Spikers served a cold-blooded revenge victory over the Lady Eagles in Game 1 of the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball best-of-three championship series Tuesday at the Big Dome.   

The Taft-based squad marched closer to its 10th crown and second straight title with a 21-25, 29-27, 25-22, 25-20, victory.   

“Siguro may hugot factor din kami kasi hindi kami nanalo sa kanila sa elimination round and siyempre we really want to defend the crown,” said last year’s Finals Most Valuable Player Kim Dy.

Ernestine Tiamzon, who led DLSU with 15 points all coming from kills, agreed.

“May hugot po talaga. Madami po kaming hugot. Bawat isa, may iba't iba kaming hugot,” she said. “Pero as a team, all of us wanted to win this and the series.”

Behind graduating setter Kim Fajardo’s inspired play in the tight second set where the Lady Spikers clawed their way out of a 17-22 deficit for a dramatic frame win that tipped the momentum to DLSU’s side.

The Lady Spikers won the third set with a huge run in the closing stretch.

DLSU was in trouble in the fourth, trailing 15-18. Head coach Ramil De Jesus asked the Lady Spikers one important question when he called time and DLSU went back on the floor going for the kill. 

“Sinabihan niya kami na, “Ano ba ang gusto niyong gawin?” Ang sabi namin, ‘Manalo!’” said Dy, who contributed with 14 points. “So nag-back to focus kami.”

The Lady Spikers erased their three-point deficit in the fourth set with six straight points for a 21-18 lead. DLSU sizzled in their final push to move at match point, 24-19.

Michelle Morente saved a match point for Ateneo with a kill but Dy, who dropped the final hammer in last year’s Finals Game 3, pounded the game-clinching attack at the Lady Eagles’ open back row.

“Coach asked us what we wanted to do. We told him that we wanted to win. From that one statement, I think we proved to him and to everyone na may kapit po kami. Hindi po kami bibitaw basta-basta lang,” said Tiamzon. “Sabi nga ni coach ibang laro na 'to. Finals na 'to.”

But even with a big win, the Lady Spikers are not putting their guards down as they still have one more work to do: close down the series.

“Siyempre given na OK we beat them pero we shouldn’t be too overconfident and improve for the better,” Dy said.

DLSU has two chances of clinching the series, one on Saturday and if needed on Game 3 on May 10.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  

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