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As early as last year, La Salle was already looking forward to its moment of retribution.
Fresh off a humiliating sweep at the hands of the Ateneo Lady Eagles, the Lady Spikers made sure that they will never have to go through yet another heartbreak this year.
After months of working doubly hard for their goal, the Lady Spikers can now cherish the moment and finally declare themselves as the queens of Philippine college volleyball after surviving yet another Alyssa Valdez-led onslaught in the UAAP finals.
And for them, the juice is indeed worth the squeeze.
“Matagal na namin hinihintay to,” said La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus.
“Very proud ako sa kanila kasi after Season 77, nakita nila kung gaano kasakit matalo,” he added. “Nag-exert sila ng (effort sa) training. Nakatatak sa puso nila yung dapat nilang gawin. This year hindi sila nagpatalo.”
La Salle’s journey to vindication was definitely far from easy as inconsistencies and finishing games have been an issue through the season.
They also had to hurdle a major roadblock in Far Eastern University in the semifinals, dropping Game One before finally wrapping things up in the second game.
And of course in the finals, they had to hold their ground against Valdez who averaged 27.6 points in the finals, including a 34 and a 31 point game in Games 2 and 3.
“Matagal na nilang pinaghirapan ito. Deserve nila ito. Sobrang hirap ng pinagdaan nila buong year, sobrang daming trials,” de Jesus continued while also giving credit to her graduating seniors.
Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Cyd Demecillo, Mika Esperanza and Carol Cerveza all played their final UAAP game last Saturday, with Galang, Reyes and Demecillo playing pivotal roles in La Salle’s latest title run.
The three scored nine points apiece as third year star Kim Dy finished with 17 markers to pace the Lady Spikers in the decider.
“Napakasarap para sa kanila kasi karamihan sa kanila seniors, nakuwa nila yung fitting exit. Deserving talaga sila sa title na to.”