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    Lady Spikers draw inspiration from Ateneo's 2014 dream run as they take on unbeaten San Sebastian

    Jan 18, 2016
    The Lady Spikers are big underdogs in the NCAA finals against San Sebastian. Jaime Campos

    COLLEGE of St. Benilde coach Macky Carino said the Lady Spikers are motivated to duplicate a feat last achieved by Ateneo when they take on unbeaten and thrice-to-beat San Sebastian in the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament on Tuesday.

    Carino said the underdog Lady Spikers draw inspiration from the 2014 title run of the Alyssa Valdez-led Lady Eagles, who survived three games in the stepladder semifinals before beating the top-seeded La Salle Lady Spikers in the finals.

    The Lady Spikers will have to mirror the feat if they are to avenge their 2009 loss to the Lady Stags the last time the Taft-based school reached the NCAA Finals in 2009.

    Game One will be played on Tuesday beginning 4 p.m. at The Arena in San Juan.

    “Malay mo kami mag-champion, kung sila (Ateneo) nagawa nila (sa UAAP) malay mo sa NCAA kami ang makagawa,” said Carino after his wards clinched the last finals berth after toppling defending champion Arellano, 25-20, 25-22, 25-23, on Friday.

    “Basta itong Tuesday ibibigay namin ang best namin, one game at a time. Kung tatlo man (ang kailngan naming panalo), iisa-isahin lang namin ‘yan,” he added.

    [See Unbeaten San Sebastian, Benilde begin battle for NCAA women's volleyball crown]

    Carino, however, is also the first to admit that the feat won't be easy against a San Sebastian side led by the league's best player in Gretcel Soltones.

    But he added nothing is impossible if a team has self-belief.

    “Ang sabi ko nga mahirap pero pipilitin talaga namin, kakayanin namin, madadaan naman ‘yan sa tyaga at syempre sa tiwala talaga na mananalo ka,” he said.

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    “Una pa lang, atake mo pa lang, psychological mo pa lang ang mindset mo kailangan talaga tiwala lang, ‘yung kumpiyansa mo mananalo ka,” he added.

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    The Lady Spikers are big underdogs in the NCAA finals against San Sebastian. Jaime Campos
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