La Salle extends mastery over Ateneo to 11 games

Angel Canino showed up in La Salle’s 25-16, 25-20, 25-12 sweep of Ateneo to seize the solo lead in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Canino fired a match-best 23 points on 21 attacks, an ace, and a block to go along with nine digs and five receptions for the Lady Spikers, who improved to a league-best 3-0.

“Hindi naman namin ina-ano kung nasa taas kami or what. Basta kami tuloy tuloy lang, one game at a time. Basta ang nireremind lang namin sa mga bata ‘wag ma-kumpyansa,” said De La Salle head coach Noel Orcullo.

Jolina Dela Cruz chipped in 13 points on 10 attacks and three blocks along with 11 excellent receptions while Thea Gagate added 10 points as De La Salle nabbed its 11th consecutive victory over Ateneo in front of 10, 754 fans.

The Blue Eagles last win against the Lady Spikers was back on April 8, 2017 where they scored a four-set, 12-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19 win in the second round of the Season 79 eliminations.

De La Salle dominated Ateneo early in the game, taking a 17-9 advantage after a Dela Cruz off-the-block hit. Ateneo got close to within five, 16-21, after consecutive hits from Faith Nisperos but La Salle went on to finish the opening set with a 4-0 blast kick-started by Baby Jyne Soreno.

It was the same story for both squads in the second set as the Taft-based spikers seized control before the second technical timeout by putting a 14-8 cushion en route to a 25-20 win that put them at a 2-0 advantage.

The Lady Spikers finished it off by taking an 11-point, 23-12 advantage in the fifth set with Dela Cruz scoring two consecutive cross-court attacks to end the game in just an hour and 28 minutes.

“Basta kung ano yung sistemang ginagawa namin, apply lang nang apply sa game so yung record sa taas di namin ina-ano yun basta kami continuous lang yung gagawin namin,” Orcullo said.