UAAP: For first time since 2008, odds are stacked against La Salle
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 01, 2019 07:32 PM
La Salle will have a longer, tougher road than usual if it wants a four-peat
De La Salle University has lost back-to-back games heading into the Final Four of the UAAP 81 Women's Volleyball Tournament.
First, they fell to Far Eastern University and thus were forced into a playoff for the second-seed.
Three days later, they were no match for University of Sto. Tomas and hence had to settle for the third-seed and the twice-to-win disadvantage.
And so, in a span of three days, the Lady Spikers fell from their usual standing at the end of the elimination round up there in the top two.
In fact, this will be the first time since UAAP 70 that they will not have a playoff incentive.
Yes, for the last 11 years, the Taft-based team has jumped on a top two finish in the elims for a twice-to-beat advantage or, in UAAP 74 and 76, an automatic advance into the Finals.
All of that has led to six championships for La Salle.
More than that, though, it is also at a disadvantage when it comes to the two teams' head-to-head matches in the season thus far.
They split their elimination round meetings before UST claimed the playoff for the second-seed.
That's why, come their Final Four meeting on Sunday, the second-seeded Golden Tigresses only need one more win to drive into the Finals and dethrone the third-seeded Lady Spikers.
As such, Espana has all the confidence it needs, up 2-1 in showdowns versus Taft thus far while also being armed with the playoff incentive.
Nonetheless, the green and white still has coach Ramil De Jesus and his system that has set the standard in the UAAP in the last 21 years and counting.
Now, it's up to team captain Des Cheng, super rookie Jolina Dela Cruz, steady setter Mich Cobb, and the rest of the Lady Spikers to buck the odds.
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