Lady Spik­ers eye fi­nal vs resur­gent Ti­gresses

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - – Olmin Leyba

Though they en­coun­tered a bump at the end of the UAAP Sea­son 79 women’s vol­ley­ball elim­i­na­tions, the La Salle Lady Spik­ers are staying the course, ready to take the next step in their ti­tle-re­ten­tion bid by mak­ing it back to the fi­nals.

Two weeks after set­tling for sec­ond seed fol­low­ing a bit­ter four-set loss to ri­val Ate­neo, the Lady Spik­ers set out to re­deem them­selves and get back on track by hur­dling the No. 3 Univer­sity of Santo To­mas Ti­gresses in to­day’s Fi­nal Four at the Smart Araneta Coli­seum.

DLSU swept UST in their two elims show­downs and if the La Sal­lians con­tinue the trend and cash in on their twice-to-beat edge in the 4 p.m. en­counter, they ad­vance to the fi­nals for the ninth con­sec­u­tive year.

La Salle coach Ramil de Je­sus vowed to be all-busi­ness for the semis duel with a UST side car­ry­ing a new-found con­fi­dence and in­tent on over-achiev­ing some more.

“The real bat­tle starts in the Fi­nal Four so we can’t af­ford any slip-up here. We’ll do ev­ery­thing we can to win this one,” said DLSU coach Ramil de Je­sus.

DLSU top hit­ter Kim Dy said they’re go­ing into bat­tle with a do-or-die men­tal­ity, ob­vi­ously learn­ing from last sea­son wherein they nearly blew their semis edge and were forced to go through a rub­ber match against Far Eastern U then.

“We be­lieve there is no room for com­pla­cency. We will do our best this time around as we have learned from the past,” said Dy.

After reach­ing the Fi­nal Four for the first time in four years, the Ti­gresses felt they shouldn’t stop there.

“I can say the play­ers are now Fi­nal Four ma­te­rial,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes, draw­ing con­fi­dence from the Ti­gresses’ show­case of char­ac­ter and ef­fort in ral­ly­ing from two-sets down past National U en route to a semis stint.

“The next step for us now is to aim higher. We won’t set­tle for just be­ing in the Fi­nal Four; we want to over-achieve as far as we can,” said Reyes.

The other semis matchup, fea­tur­ing top seed Ate­neo against No. 4 FEU, will be played to­mor­row with the Lady Ea­gles also en­joy­ing the win-once bonus.

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