The DLSU Lady Spikers are now sitting at the top of the UAAP women’s volleyball with a 5-0 record.
Some circles are elated as of the moment while some are still reserving their confetti for the second half of the first round.
Here is the Rekdotnet first five games assessment.
FIVE IN A ROW…. BUT
Yes, La Salle won five in a row. Don’t bring out the poppers yet since three of the four wins came from FEU, UE, UP and Ateneo, none of these are expected to contend.
And another yes, Ateneo does not seem to be a contender this year.
Of all the five opponents, the opening day UST five-set thriller seemed to be the sole barometer of how good this team is. Opening game jitters and factor in the absence of that key wing piece in Alleiah Malaluan, Lady Spikers went through fire and needed all five sets, an extension in the final set, and for UST to choke in the final moments to do a Houdini.
Super rookie Angel Canino made a spectacular debut with 16 points with 11 excellent receptions while veteran Jolina dela Cruz pitched in 14 in a rollercoaster match that almost went south.
As Canino stated after the match “we have a lot of jelling to do” which pertained to the nightmare error numbers, especially in the first set where La Salle rallied late and stole the set from UST. At most points of this set, the Taft spikers had as many points as errors.
After a few days, La Salle marched in with a more aggressive mindset. In their straight sets win against UP, La Salle offense blasted their opponents 39-24 on attacks and limited their errors to only 16 in the match.
Canino and Thea Gagate came out big against the Lady Maroons with 13 and 10 points respectively as the entire La Salle firing line shredded UP’s floor defense that was only able to receive 19 out of 102 attacks.
Rivalry Sunday became a letdown with the Ateneo Blue Eagles playing their weakest volleyball in decades. DLSU would repeatedly build big leads in the set and allow Ateneo to slip back a little before going into full force to destroy their rivals.
The Lady Spikers’ domination of the Blue Eagles was seen, felt, and echoed via straight-sets victory 25-16, 25-20, 25-13. The cannons of Canino blasted the blues with 23 points while Dela Cruz scored 11 and Gagate pitched in 10.
As much as the loaded offensive guns of La Salle came to the rivalry game, the traditionally poor-receiving and erratic floor-defending Eagles made their presence felt. Ateneo only managed 36 digs out of 126 attacks while receiving only 29 out of 69 serves.
Winless UE was an easy target for the Lady Spikers as the green ladies strolled to a three-set win 25-20, 25-21, 25-14, in a game that many thought was closer than it should have been.
This time, Gagate captained the ship with 13 points with 5 blocks, while super rookie Canino finished with 10.
Despite playing a winless squad, La Salle coughed up 22 errors all through the match compared to only 12 by their Recto counterparts.
“Never underestimate the opponent” acting coach Noel Orcullo said after the match in relation to the Lady Spikers’ habit of playing down to their opponent.
Through these matches, Coach Orcullo was able to extend his rotation which allowed Baby Jynne Sorreno and Julia Coronel to get the much-needed floor time.
And not playing down to their opponent, the Lady Spikers did against the FEU Lady Tams when the green ladies obliterated FEU at the net with a myriad of attacks and drops as well as blocking Morayta attacks.
La Salle chalked up win#5 with a three-set 25-16, 25-18, 25, dominating the attack stats 43-32.
ABOUT THE OTHER TEAMS THIS SEASON
In summary, Adamson is surging in the power rankings, UST is proving to be tough when healthy, NU is not invincible.
Adamson was the first team to expose the NU vulnerability when they went toe-to-toe for five sets. UST stopped the NU streak in five sets while Adamson swept a Milena Alessandrini-less UST Tigresses.
What is apparent now is that NU is no longer dominant without Ivy Lacsina lording over the middle and not to be the only team in game shape when last season started.
THE BALANCE OF THE FIRST ROUND
La Salle will square off again with a familiar off-season foe, the Adamson Lady Falcons. The Lady Spikers won their playoff series against the San Marcelino team in the Shakey’s Super League in a tough series that went the whole five sets in the deciding match.
Building their team one attacker at a time, Adamson attackers are by no means easy prey.
The Falcons match will test-run the Canino factor in La Salle’s title campaign. Moreover, the revved up La Salle offense that has favored quick attacks will test its effectiveness.
See you all on Wednesday
ANIMO LA SALLE!
ANIMO LADY SPIKERS!!!