'We’re playing for her': Lady Spikers draw strength from sidelined Canino

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
'We�re playing for her': Lady Spikers draw strength from sidelined Canino
La Salle star Angel Canino
UAAP Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – The DLSU Lady Spikers are pushing to turn adversity into a source of motivation, as they face the challenge of an unfortunate non-volleyball related injury to ace hitter Angel Canino smack in the middle of their title retention bid in UAAP Season 86.

Though shaky in their first test with Canino at the sidelines, with the upset-seeking UP Fighting Maroons dragging the defending champions to four sets in their second round meeting, stalwarts Shevana Laput and Maicah Larrosa said that they are taking a positive mindset with the situation.

Canino herself played a role in this, as she kept herself with the team — and in uniform — albeit with a sling on her right arm.

Seeing Canino so supportive despite her situation, Laput says they’re looking to her for motivation.

“Her being there [in the bench] is motivation for sure. You know, by doing her justice, giving her peace of mind, winning for her. We’re playing for her now,” Laput said. 

“She can’t be on the court but she’s in our hearts.”

Meanwhile, Larrosa, who was among players given more minutes on the court because of Canino’s absence, wanted to lift any burden off of the reigning MVP’s shoulders.

“Kanina [before the game] lahat kami, [sabi namin] let’s do this for Angel para wala siyang masyadong isipin mamaya, ganun para mas mabilis ang pag-recover niya,” she said.

The wing spiker will be sidelined indefinitely after suffering a cut on her forearm. There is no timetable for her return.

Unsure on whether or not they can get Canino back on the court, Laput also assured that La Salle is no one woman show. Though missing their star player on the court, the Filipino-Australian is confident in herself and her teammates that they can get back on their feet.

“Of course without Angel, there’s that pressure and the pressure to perform. And, that game definitely wasn’t our best. We know as a team we can do better. Angel’s a big factor but there’s 13 of us in the team who can step up,” she said.

La Salle (8-1) will attempt to clear another hurdle and cement their place in the Final Four on Tuesday when they face the UE Lady Warriors at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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