LA SALLE weathered Far Eastern University's gallant stand in the first and third sets to eke out a 30-28, 25-12, 28-26 win Wednesday to keep an unblemished record on top of the UAAP women's volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

30 March 2023

Standings W L
DLSU 9 0
AdU 6 2
UST 6 3
NU 5 3
FEU 4 5
Ateneo 3 5
UP 1 7
UE 0 9

Games Saturday:
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
10 a.m. – NU vs UP (Men)
12 noon – NU vs UP (Women)
2 p.m. – AdU vs Ateneo (Women)
4 p.m. – AdU vs Ateneo (Men)

LA SALLE weathered Far Eastern University’s gallant stand in the first and third sets to eke out a 30-28, 25-12, 28-26 win Wednesday to keep an unblemished record on top of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

It was 5-foot-7 Baby Jyne Soreño who stood tallest for La Salle as she remarkably filled in for injured Leila Cruz while backing up Angel Canino and Jolina dela Cruz en route to steering the Lady Spikers to pick up a league-best 9-0 record.

It may recalled that Cruz got sidelined owing to an ACL injury on her right knee after a bad landing during La Salle’s straight-set romp of defending champion National University last Saturday.

“Talagang nawalan kami ng isang vital part sa team so we have to move on,” said Lady Spikers assistant coach Noel Orcullo.

Earlier, University of Santo Tomas made short work of University of the East, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17, to keep within striking distance of second-running Adamson.

The Tigresses, who have won their last six meetings with the Lady Warriors, rose to 6-3, trailing the Lady Falcons by half-a-game in the race for second twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four.

UST made a twinkill as its men’s team improved to second-best 8-1 overall with a 28-26, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22 win over UE.

Soreño ably filled the gaps left by Cruz for La Salle, scoring four of her eight points in the third set.

Canino was at her usual best with 16 kills, 15 receptions and 14 kills while Dela Cruz added 13 points, including two service aces, 14 digs and six receptions for the Lady Spikers.

The Lady Tamaraws dropped to 4-5 in fifth place, one-and-a-half game behind the Lady Bulldogs (5-3) in the race for the last Final Four berth.

“Yung first set we started flat. Niremind lang namin sila kung bakit nawawala tayo sa sistema. Iba yung ginagalaw niyo sa pinractice natin,” said Orcullo.

Canino’s heroics that allowed La Salle to escape the opening set, coming through with back-to-back hits to compete the comeback from a 21-24 hole.

After a lopsided second set, FEU regained its fire in the third, but Dela Cruz’s go-ahead crosscourt shot and Jov Fernandez’s attack error closed out the match.

Eya Laure led the way for the Tigresses with 17 points and four receptions, Imee Hernandez added eight points, including two service aces while Regina Jurado and Pia Abbu each scored seven points.

UST’s win will be in good stead heading to this Sunday’s showdown with La Salle. The Lady Spikers outlasted the Tigresses on opening day.

“Well, everybody is looking at La Salle right now. Kami din nai-inspire din sa kanila kasi halos lahat ng departments, sila ang No. 1, especially sa blocking nila,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes.

“So kami naman, hahanap kami ng butas kung saan puwede kami puwedeng lumusot,” he added.

The Golden Spikers were able to pull off their sixth consecutive victory despite a lackluster outing which saw the Red Warriors, who fell to their sixth straight loss at 2-7, gain a lifeline in the third set.

“A W is a W… Yesterday, nagalit ako sa training birthday na birthday ko kasi they were lax, they were complacent pero ano naman yung preparation namin hanggang sa dulo so okay pa ito pero hindi na pupwede sa next two games,” said coach Odjie Mamon.

Josh Ybañez came through with 23 points, including two blocks, while Gboy de Vega added 17 points, 17 receptions, and five digs for the Golden Spikers.