Lady Spikers aim to complete repeat title run

Mark Escarlote on May 06, 2017 05:58 AM
Lady Spikers aim to complete repeat title run
De La Salle University eyes to finish off Ateneo de Manila and claim their second straight title.

Smelling blood after a dramatic win in the series opener, defending champion De La Salle University goes for the jugular Saturday against bitter rival Ateneo de Manila in Game 2 of the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball best-of-three Finals series at the Big Dome.

The Lady Spikers shoot to compete a series sweep of the sixth straight championship installment of the storied rivalry at 4:00 p.m. The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.

Winners of the individual awards led by Most Valuable Player Majoy Baron of DLSU will be feted at 3:00 p.m.

DLSU pulled off a stunner in the series opener last Tuesday, rallying from a set down to submit Ateneo, 25-21, 27-29, 22-25, 20-25, and move a win closer to claiming the Taft-based squad’s 10th title overall.  

“We’re excited to defend the crown and hopefully it’ll be our last game,” said Lady Spikers top hitter Kim Dy. “It will be a test of character for us.”

DLSU is also looking to give outgoing setter Kim Fajardo a fitting sendoff gift after five years of colorful service for the green and white. 

“For me kasi noong una mas gusto ko kasi maglaro sila for them and for the school,” said Fajardo, who tallied 37 excellent sets and nailed 10 points including seven from the service line. “Pero kung siguro ‘yun ang makakatulong para makapaglaro sila ng maayos, eh di why not?”

But the DLSU team captain is also wary of Ateneo’s desire to reclaim the throne the Lady Eagles lost last year in three games after a two-year reign.

“Siyempre babawi at babawi ‘yun (Ateneo) pero nasa amin naman kung paano nami idi-defend ang title,” said Fajardo, who will receive her second straight and third overall Best Setter award before the game.

With their backs against the wall, the girls from Katipunan are sure to bring out the same battlecry that led them to success in Seasons 76 and 77.

“The mantra of this team is heart strong and we'll live up to that name. It's not over. It's best-of-three,” said third year Ateneo middle blocker Bea De Leon. “On Saturday, we'll meet again and we'll get there.”

De Leon, Jho Maraguinot, Michelle Morente, Kat Tolentino and veteran playmaker Jia Morado will try to drag the series to a sudden death on May 10.




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