TREBLE-seeking La Salle survived an opening-day scare, edging University of Sto. Tomas, 25-20, 17-25, 25-22, 15-25, 15-8, on Saturday in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Tin Tiamzon’s kill pushed La Salle to match point and an Aduke Ogunsanya block on Sisi Rondina sealed the win for the Lady Spikers.
Reigning MVP Majoy Baron led the Lady Spikers with 19 points from 12 kills, five blocks and two service aces, Des Cheng added 12 and Aduke Ogunsanya scored 10.
“Talagang expected namin na hindi ganun kadaling talunin ang UST,” admitted La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus, whose wards lost to the Tigresses in an off-season championship.
“Kahit sa Unigames, medyo nahirapan ‘yung team namin. Although maraming bago dun sa lineup so maraming napapaikot na tao,” he added.
Still, the 10-time UAAP champion coach gave his team a passing grade in their fifth straight season win in a season opener.
“May mga adjustment pang gagawin kasi last minute mahirap magpalit ng tao lalo na kung yung starter mo hindi makakalaro,” said De Jesus referring to Kim Dy, who is nursing a hyperextended right knee.
“So sa ngayon, mabibigyan ko siguro ng passing grade kasi nanalo although makikita mo naman yung character pagdating ng fifth set,” he said.
The last time La Salle lost an opening match was in Season 75, against UST and also in five sets.
Rondina finished with 28 points, 25 on attacks, while Fil-Italian rookie Milena Alessandrini debuted with 18 points.