That's what La Salle used as an effective tool courtesy of its "Twin Towers" in repulsing Adamson, 22-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19, and extending its winning streak to six matches in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre Sunday.

19 March 2023

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

Games Wednesday:
(Mall of Asia Arena)
10 a.m. – AdU vs UP (Men)
12 noon – AdU vs UP (Women)
2 p.m. – DLSU vs NU (Women)
4 p.m. – DLSU vs NU (Men)

HEIGHT matters.

That’s what La Salle used as an effective tool courtesy of its “Twin Towers” in repulsing Adamson, 22-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19, and extending its winning streak to six matches in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre Sunday.

Just when they thought they had the momentum after winning the first set, the Lady Falcons soon felt effects of the Lady Spikers’ solid net defense, thanks to La Salle’s “Twin Towers” in Fifi Sharma and Thea Gagate.

The duo combined for 11 of their team’s 14 blocks, that heavily took its toll on the battle-weary Adamson side.

Enjoying its finest start since it opened the 2014-15 (Season 77) campaign at 6-0, La Salle will wrap up its first round campaign against National University in a rematch of last year’s championship on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Rookie Angel Canino had a sluggish start but soon recovered and bannered the Lady Spikers’ campaign with 21 points and seven receptions.

“Yung first set medyo sobrang shaky nung start namin siguro dahil medyo nangangapa si Angel, ilang days din siya hindi nakapag-training dahil under the weather so yesterday lang siya nakatraining so nangangapa pa nga,” said La Salle interim coach Noel Orcullo on their first set downer.

“Pinaalalahanan ko lang naman after ng first set na bumalik dahil kailangan so ayun nagising siguro,” he added.

Gagate had five blocks for a 16-point effort while Sharma added 12 points, including a season-high six blocks and two service aces for the Lady Spikers.

“Overall, I’m really proud of how we performed today,” said Sharma. “We have prepared for this during the whole break. Like everyone they are giving 100 percent during the trainings and it was a different feeling when inside the court. I was like…everyone went to fight today.”

Men’s division

La Salle scored a twin kill as its men’s team improved to 4-2 following a 25-21, 25-18, 25-20 tripping of Adamson in a match that saw basketball standout Ben Phillips finally making his volleyball debut.

Later, Vanie Gandler had 17 points, including two blocks and two service aces, while Faith Nisperos contributed 14 points and five digs as Ateneo checked a four-match losing skid with a 25-16, 25-20, 25-22 victory over Katipunan rival University of the Philippines.

The Blue Eagles improved to 2-5 overall, while sending the Fighting Maroons to their fifth loss in six contests.

“I thank the players for accepting the challenge. I just challenge them to take pride and have a strong character in this game, no matter what, kung sino man yung kalaban,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “We missed this feeling. We really hope na…sabi ko sa kanila sa message ko sa kanila kaninang umaga na ‘today is the start of something for tomorrow’.”

Middle blocker Phillips made his presence felt by scoring a quick kill off a Dio Poquita set to give the Green Spikers the needed separation at 21-17 late in the third set.

“Sobrang excited and at the same time, sobrang nervous kasi hindi ko alam na papasok ako sa court,” said Phillips, who played the same position at Fairfield High School in Ohio in the United States.

“Pero as soon as sabi ni nga coach (Arnold Laniog), ‘Uy pasok na!’…Whoa, totoo ba? So, I’ll be honest, I’m really excited kasi I’m really working hard with the team and I’m really thankful that they took me into their family and the coaching staff has been really helpful with my training,” he added.

Trisha Tubu had 13 points while Lucille Almonte contributed nine points and 10 receptions for the Lady Falcons, who slipped to fourth place with a 4-2 slate.

Jewel Encarnacion led UP with 11 points, nine digs and nine receptions while Niña Ytang had four blocks for a seven-point outing.