Lady Spikers overcome slow start to beat Adamson


Undermanned De La Salle University recovered from a first set collapse, downing also-ran Adamson University, 17-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-22, to forge a three-way tie atop the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Volleyball Tournament on Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Lady Spikers (29 points) raised their record to 10-2 for the three-way logjam along with National University (30 pts) and University of Santo Tomas (28 pts).

During a triple tie, the points system will be the first tiebreaker method. In a two-way tie, head-to-head results would be the basis.

Despite the win though, La Salle deputy coach Noel Orcullo hit the team’s slow start that allowed Adamson to take the first set, turning a 15-17 hole into a 25-17 win.

“Actually nung first set talagang sobrang tentative yung galaw nila naghihintayan walang gustong maglead. Yun yung naging resulta. Pag walang naglilead nagiging pangit yung galaw,” said Orcullo. “Buti na lang nanalo, nakuha yung second set at nagtuloy tuloy. A win is a win pa rin talaga kahit masama yung laro.

Already without reigning MVP Angel Canino for the fourth straight game, the Lady Spikers also lost Jyne Soreño in an apparent left arm injury late in the first after colliding with teammate Lyka De Leon while trying to dig a ball. She did not return, going back to the bench wearing a sling.

The Lady Spikers battled back in the second, 25-19, followed by a monster third, 25-11 to turn the tables around in their favor.

In the fourth set, Ayesha Juegos and Jen Villegas connived for the Lady Falcons for a fierce challenge but Shevana Laput and Alleiah Malaluan provided La Salle’s counter for the win in one hour and 48 minutes.

Laput fired a personal season-high 24 points on 22 attacks and two blocks, while Thea Gagate added 12 points including three blocks. After a scoreless first two sets, Malaluan got her game going with eight points.

La Salle will face Ateneo de Manila University nexton Sunday before its face-off with UST on April 27.

Villegas had her best game this season with 16 points on 13 spikes, two blocks, and an ace as the Lady Falcons slipped to 3-9, still at sixth.

Barbie Jamili chimed in with 11 points while Juegos produced 10. Karen Verdeflor dazzled anew defensively as well with 22 receptions and 21 digs.

Adamson will be back on Saturday against NU, before finishing its campaign against Ateneo next Wednesday.