IT'S a rare sight to see Des Cheng play sparingly and get held to just two points for La Salle.
But it turns out, there's a reason why the fifth-year outside hitter played limited minutes in the Lady Spikers' final elimination game against Far Eastern University on Sunday.
"Nung weekend kasi, nakalmot siya ng pusa," bared coach Ramil de Jesus after the game.
Cheng got scratched by a stray cat in their dormitory and immediately had to get injected with an anti-rabies vaccine. That led to her missing the Lady Spikers' practice the past few days and losing rhythm, explaining the kind of game she had against the Lady Tamaraws.
"Di namin pinag-ensayo ng ilang araw. Medyo mababa nga (ang laro niya)," said the 11-time UAAP champion coach.
The fault, though, wasn't all Cheng's as La Salle flubbed a golden chance to clinch the second seed - and twice-to-beat advantage in the UAAP Season 81 Final Four - after blowing a two sets-to-one lead with its 32 errors all contributing to their defeat.
The Lady Spikers' inability to match the energy of the Lady Tamaraws did not escape the keen eyes of de Jesus.
"Sobrang high note nag-start yung laro ng FEU, tapos tayo nandito low note," he said.
La Salle, at least, has a chance to rectify those mistakes in a playogg against University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday for the No. 2 seed.
"Next time, sabi ko, kung pag nag-start ng ganoong kataas yung kalaban, ganoon din dapat kataas ang lalaruin niyo o mas mataas pa."