Show of force by La Salle

John Rey Saavedra - The Philippine Star
Show of force by La Salle
The towering Lady Spikers prove too much for the Lady Falcons in yesterday’s opener.
STAR / Fiie

MANILA, Philippines — Reigning champion La Salle walloped Adamson in straight sets while University of the East clawed Ateneo for the first time in 14 years to open the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament with a bang yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Lady Spikers met little to no resistance from the Lady Falcons for a 25-16, 25-16, 25-18 win in only 74 minutes as the Lady Warriors battled back from a set down for a historic 20-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-18 victory over the Blue Eagles.

La Salle’s win, headlined by 14 points on 11 hits and three blocks of Season 85 Rookie-MVP Angel Canino, gifted seasoned mentor Ramil de Jesus his 300th career win (against 81 losses) in UAAP women’s volleyball history to further cement his legend marked by 12 titles.

Shevana Laput had 11, Thea Gagate and Amie Provido added eight each with Alleiah Malaluan throwing in seven points to complement Canino in their scattered attack for a winning start in a back-to-back title bid.

“Hindi ko naman nabibilang pero in 27 years ko (sa La Salle) baka umabot na nga doon. Happy ako kasi umabot ng ganoon karaming panalo na hindi ko naman inisip na makakarating sa ganoon,” said De Jesus.

“Para sa akin, ‘yung mabigyan ng magandang kundisyon at performance ‘yung mga bata eh sapat na ‘yun. Hindi ‘yung kung umabot man ng ganoon (karami) ang panalo.”

Earlier, super rookie Casiey Monique Dongallo announced a roaring UAAP arrival with 27 points on 26 hits and an ace for the best rookie debut ever in women’s volleyball as the Lady Warriors got off to a flying start in a new era under coach Jerry Yee.

Dongallo drew solid support from Riza Nogales (13) and Kayce Balingit (11) with Kizzie Madriago orchestrating their attack with 16 sets.

Libero Angelica Reyes anchored the floor defense with 22 digs as UE finally got one on Ateneo for the first time since 2010 (Season 73) at the time of star spiker Kite Rosale against the famed “Fab Five” of the Blue Eagles.



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