Thu. May 23rd, 2024
La Salle Lady Spikers Shakey’s Super League volleyball

FILE–La Salle Lady Spikers in the Shakey’s Super League. –SSL FACEBOOK

MANILA, Philippines—In a war of attrition, University of Santo Tomas blinked first.

La Salle outlasted the Golden Tigresses in five thrilling sets, 22-25, 25-18, 14-25, 26-24, 26-24, to move on to the Finals of the Shakey’s Super League at San Juan Arena on Friday.

With the Lady Archers down two sets to one, assistant coach Noel Orcullo had to remind the Lady Spikers that they are the defending champions of the UAAP.

Then suddenly, the gear was shifted to another level.

“We just reminded them in that fifth set to show what it really is, they can do. Show them that we’re the defending champions in the UAAP. We already faced them before so why do you need to lose? We don’t have to lose against them,” said Orcullo.

“Like I said before, this is a different battle in the semis, they are a UAAP team so we told them to show their A Game. They can’t take it easy. It looked like they got pressured so they committed some errors, especially in the service.”

The Golden Tigresses looked like they had the victory in their grasps when they held a 24-21 advantage in the fourth set but La Salle would shift the gear into overdrive and score five unanswered points, capped off by an Alleiah Malaluan kill, setting up a nail-biting final frame.

The Season 85 Final Four rivals went on a long back and forth in the clutch but the twin towers of Taft handled business to seal the deal.

With the score tied at 24-all, Malaluan, who finished with a team-high 25 points, converted another successful spike to bring the set to its 10th match point.

Before UST could respond and force another decider, Thea Gagate blocked a UST attack to finish the intense matchup and move on to the tourney’s finalé.

“It (the win) just showed that we really need to improve together as a team and form more connection with each other. It took ‘puso,’” said Shevana Laput, who finished with 23 points.

Gagate also helped La Salle’s cause with 14 points built on three blocks.

Angeline Poyos’ 29-point outburst was not enough for the Golden Tigresses as they hit the hay in the Super League. Regina Jurado also came up big for the Tigresses with 25 markers but to no avail.

Up next for La Salle is a best-of-three finals series against Adamson, starting next week. 



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By Sandra Winters

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