The DLSU Lady Spikers fell behind in the first set, received a bit of heckling from FEU, used that as extra motivation to kickstart their game into another level, and rallied back to take the first set, then sustained that power and energy all throughout the second and third to win in straight sets, 25-23, 25-13, 25-14.
La Salle started precariously slow in the initial set, trailing as many as seven at 13-20 as an upset-seeking FEU team came out with more energy. However, instead of just letting their game do the talking, the Lady Tamaraws leveled up the smack and the taunts. They probably forgot the adage not to wake a sleeping giant.
Unfortunately for them, the excessive celebration and taunting had an unintended consequence of waking the Lady Spikers from their deep slumber.
Trailing by seven, Fifi Sharma, Leiah Malaluan and reserve Erika Santos went nuclear and locked in with starting setter Mars Alba to deliver the momentum-shifting 12-3 run, mostly on open smashes, to pocket the first set 25-23.
La Salle was not done just yet.
The Lady Spikers opened the second set with quick kills from the middle from Gagate and immediately took control at 9-2. At this point, the once noisy Tamaraws were reduced to fumbling green horns succumbing to the pressure of the hubris their game could not back up.
At the second technical timeout of the second set, La Salle was in full control, 16-6 and eventually finished the set with Coach Ramil De Jesus extending his rotation to the super subs, 25-13. The Taft ladies vented their ire on the hapless Lady Tamaraws in the second set outscoring them 12-5 on attacks and 3-1 on blocks.
The next set saw the continuation of the Morayta destruction. La Salle took an early 6-0 lead and never looked back. Gagate, Santos and Malaluan exposed the FEU floor defense with an array of quick kills, down-the-line smashes and precise off-speed drops.
Malaluan finished the set and the game with her usual down-the-line kill to finish off FEU, 25-14.
Gagate was named Player of the Game with her 14 points and Malaluan scored in double-digits with 12 points. Big revelation Erika Santos contributed 9 in a classic Coach RDJ rotation move to disrupt the FEU gameplan with a surprise sub.
With the win, La Salle is now in solo-third with a 6-3 card and will face UP on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
ANIMO LA SALLE!