UAAP Season 81: DLSU uses element of surprise in dismantling Ateneo
Mark Escarlote on Feb 17, 2019 10:49 PM
Malaking advantage ‘yun na wala silang idea sa team namin kung sino ang starter, ano ang position, kung anong klase ng set play ang nangyayari sa team na pina-practice namin -- DLSU coach Ramil De Jesus
Defending three-time champion De La Salle University kept its team under wraps during the offseason and it worked wonders for the Lady Spikers.
Head coach Ramil De Jesus thought that they had the element of surprise when DLSU demolished Ateneo de Manila University, 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, Sunday in their UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament opener at the MOA Arena.
The Taft-based squad didn’t join any major pre-season tournament as a team, opting to field just a few of its regular players in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference and in the UniGames.
“Mayroon siguro. Malaking advantage ‘yun na wala silang idea sa team namin kung sino ang starter, ano ang position, kung anong klase ng set play ang nangyayari sa team na pina-practice namin,”said De Jesus, whose squad defeated Ateneo for the fifth straight time since Season 79 Finals.
DLSU lost three key players in Kim Kianna Dy, former MVP Majoy Baron and libero Dawn Macandili after graduating last season. During the pre-season, Gyra Barroga and Arriane Layug left the team to move up to the semi-pro league.
Pundits thought that the Lady Spikers will have a hard time rebuilding but again, De Jesus' battle-tested system that produced 11 titles in two decades proved them wrong.
Graduating player Des Cheng delivered the same numbers that was expected from her but it was rookie Jolina Dela Cruz and fourth year player May Luna that did most of the damage with their production.
Dela Cruz and Luna scored 11 points each to back Cheng’s 13 markers and Aduke Ogunsanya’s 10. Luna did the most damage in the fourth set as she helped the Lady Spikers pull away for good midway in the frame with her heady plays that frustrated the Lady Eagles.
As for their archrivals, the Lady Spikers were able to scout the Lady Eagles’ set plays and asses the tendencies of their players based on Ateneo’s performance in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
De Jesus and his coaching staff devised a good game plan to dismantle Ateneo in front of 17,166-strong crowd.
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