THREE-time defending champion De La Salle is keeping its fingers crossed that star spiker Michelle Gumabao will play out her final year when the Lady Spikers gun for a fourth successive UAAP women's volleyball championship beginning next month.
The pretty spiker has declared last year that she won't be returning for a final season with the Lady Spikers, shortly after the finals win over arch-rival Ateneo that gave the Taft-based school a hat-trick of titles.
However, DLSU coach Ramil de Jesus is still holding out hope that one of his top players will return to beef up the Lady Spikers' campaign this season.
“Yun ang sabi niya,” de Jesus said when asked about the issue during La Salle's practice last week.
De Jesus remained convinced the prized blocker may still change her mind at the last minute, although he’s the first one to admit Gumabao's shoes will be hard to fill if she decides to skip the season.
“So far, siguro nung una, medyo hirap pa `yung team,” he said. "Ganun naman palagi e, pinaka-mahirap `yung may ga-graduate kang player.”
However, de Jesus remains confident the Lady Spikers are capable of winning yet another title with or without her.
“It’s a matter of adjustment lang yun,” De Jesus said. “Three to four months lang tapos makaka-adjust din `yung mga bata.”