What better way for the Lady Spikers to begin their second round campaign than to have their early-season tormentors as two of their first three opponents.
The team returns to action Sunday against UP at Ynares Antipolo, then it will be UST one week later.
After a rare two-game losing skid, the Lady Spikers got their form back with a couple of straight-set wins to end round one. What’s interesting about their last two matches was aside from executing much better and committing less errors, it was a also a breakout for players who at the beginning of the season, was expected to deliver consistently for the team to win their fourth-straight title.
The brief injury to team captain Des Cheng turned out to be a blessing of sorts as it gave Tin Tiamzon the opportunity to prove that she can still contribute significantly when given the chance. Also, Lourdes Clemente appears to have already adjusted to the team’s system, turning out to be a force on the defensive end.
Let’s also not forget how Coach Ramil experimented by having rookie Marionne Alba, CJ Saga and Michelle Cobb play together on the floor. All three have both setter and libero skills and it proved to be effective. We expect to see more of this combination in the coming games.
More than just talent, the team needs to have the right focus and mindset if they are to make strong push towards the finals.
“Palagi namin dapat maalala na we have a blood of a champion, dapat hindi namin papakawalan nang ganoon-ganoon lang kasi iyon,” veteran Tin Tiamzon said of the Lady Spikers, who are vying for a record fourth straight crown.
“Pinaghirapan namin at pinaghirapan din ni coach (Ramil de Jesus) na tiniyaga niya na kami, every training, every game. Iyon lang. Push lang po sa second round. Let’s see what happens.”
Even for a talented squad, it is sometimes okay to face some early adversity as it gives some motivation to work harder and play much better. Because the playing field now is no longer the same as compared to 10 years ago, it’s important that they are consistently on top of their game.
Also, let’s hope the injury woes are over and they further develop their team play. Believe us when we say this, once the Lady Spikers are completely locked-in, they will be a tough team to beat.
There’s no more solid proof of this in the following footnote in Lady Spikers history: Since UAAP Season 71, they have only lost four times in the second round of the eliminations. Yes, four times only! But to repeat, the level of competition has intensified in the last few years; in fact, three of those four losses came just a couple of seasons ago.
La Salle has always been known to peak at the right time. Let’s see if the same holds true this Sunday.
It's payback time! pic.twitter.com/k7gH6xoa1S
— GoArchers (@GoArchers) March 19, 2019