THE De La Salle Lady Spikers are off to a blazing start in their UAAP women's volleyball redemption bid as they survived the UST Tigresses, 25-20, 16-25, 25-8, 15-25, 16-14, in the first five-setter of Season 85 on Sunday in front of a 7,000-strong crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
La Salle vs UST UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball
In a game of crisscross scoring runs and explosive rookie debuts, the Taft wards stood tall in the face of multiple comeback bids from the Tigresses to secure the hard-earned victory.
Angel Canino had herself a debut with a staggering 18-point production on 16 attacks, one block, and one ace.
"'Tiwala sa sarili, ilaban natin 'to, atin 'to,' kasi alam namin [na] amin 'to eh. Kailangan lang namin i-push 'yung sarili namin na gawin 'yung lahat ng pwedeng ilabas namin as a team ... kasi alam naming [kaya namin] as Lady Spikers," said Canino, as La Salle kept its composure in the tug-of-war fifth set contest.
"Ang naging biggest challenge namin towards them [UST] ay 'yung depensa namin galing sa receive kasi medyo nag-aadjust pa kami. First game namin so medyo nag-aadjust kami sa venue, sa lahat, and also sa kalaban namin so 'dun kami nahirapan talaga."
Down 3-12 in the opening set, the Lady Spikers completed a stunning charge to snatch the opening frame before also trumping USTe by 17 points later on in the third set.
However, the Tigresses — who had their backs against the wall all-match long — always had answers to the mighty La Salle offense to ultimately force sudden death.
Jolina dela Cruz and Leila Cruz teamed up for 26 combined markers in the win as Eya Laure paced UST with a game-high 19 points alongside the returning Milena Alessandrini with 10 in a losing effort.