THE rivalry between La Salle and Ateneo wouldn’t be complete without some on-court swag. And the first meeting of the Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles already has it.
La Salle and Ateneo met on Sunday which spiced up the opening weekend of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena.
During the match, the Lady Spikers' team captain Des Cheng scored on a block against the Lady Eagles' opposite spiker Kat Tolentino which extended the Taft-based squad’s lead, 22-16, in the second set.
Cheng celebrated and shouted while she clapped her hands, she later exchanged a high five with La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus, who smiled from ear to ear exposing his dimples.
“Di ko alam kasi siyempre, hello? It’s Ateneo-La Salle. So parang kahit anong sabihin mo may rivalry talaga kahit sabihin mong wala,” said Cheng after the Lady Spikers won the match, 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19.
The graduating outside hitter explained that what she did was just part of the game.
“Uy, ang hirap kaya kumuha ng puntos,” she said. “Kaya before mag-start ang game sabi ko [sa teammates ko], ‘Every point ise-celebrate natin. Hindi yung every point makakapuntos ka tapos tatahimik ka tapos parang, Yeheey! ganun lang.’”
“Eh dun [sa swag] na kami kilala bakit kailangang [i-hold back]. Dun kami kilala eh,” she added. “Sabihin niyo na mayabang kami, swag kami, whatever kung ano ang pagka-interpret niyo it’s okay.”
“Eh kasi ‘yun na ang pagkakakilala niyo sa amin eh di dun nyo na kami i-ano talaga. Pero hindi kami mayabang. Ayun lang po talaga,” she continued.
Cheng further explained that, although some fans would comment negatively on social media, someone has to spark the energy on the court.
Even 11-time champion coach de Jesus does not stop them from showing swag during matches.
“Sabi ni coach [Ramil], ‘Hindi gagalaw ang team mo kapag walang mag-i-spark.’ Meaning, kailangan may gagalaw para mag-spark sa kanila [teammates] tapos susunod lang sila,” she said.
“Kaya kapag nakapuntos ako, parang kahit hindi nga ako nakapuntos naga-ano [cheer] ako na ‘Yeheey, yeheey!’ kasi kailangan nila yun kasi kapag walang isang tao na ganoon [magli-lead] sino ang magli-lead sa kanila?” she added.
La Salle extended its winning streak over Ateneo to five dating back to the finals of the Season 79.