ONE reason De La Salle's Lady Spikers have dominated the UAAP over the past three seasons is because it is all heart during games.
Well, no one typifies that more than Abi Marano.
The veteran Marano has become the inspirational leader of the two-time league champions, rallying her teammates when the Lady Spikers are down and leading the celebrations after each point, set, or match won.
The team skipper wears her heart on her sleeve, and her enthusiasm and fighting spirit have rubbed off on the rest in a team that is on the verge of completing a hat-trick of women's volleyball titles.
“I think it helps kasi nakikita ng mga teammates ko na sobrang hyped up ako,” said Marano on Saturday, moments after La Salle's gut-wrenching 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6 victory over Ateneo.
“Isang paraan 'yun para mabuhay sila at gusto nila na makita nila sa akin ‘yun.”
“I think it was more of the heart kasi halimbawa kung gusto mo talaga lumaban, lalaban ka. Patayan kung patayan kahit anong mangyari. Kailangan talaga naming manalo,” said Marano.
The La Salle skipper admitted they lost focus in the first two sets, a fact underscored by their 48 unforced errors all game. But the Lady Spikers finally regained their rhythm just in time.
“Masyado siguro kaming naging complacement, nahirapan kami mag-adjust especially noong ginawang center (spiker) si (Alyssa) Valdez,” Marano said.
"But the thing is, we were able to adjust pagdating ng third set, andoon na ‘yung mindset namin na teamwork. Teamwork was really the key."