Canino-less La Salle escapes UE in five-set thriller

By Ardyn Gonzales

For the first time in recent memory, the De La Salle University Lady Spikers needed to dig deep to avoid an upset loss to the University of the East Lady Warriors. La Salle won in five sets, 25-23, 21-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-12, in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, Tuesday, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

It is the second game of the Lady Spikers sans the reigning MVP Angel Canino who was sidelined because of an unfortunate injury.

Despite overcoming a seven-point deficit in the opening set, 14-21, La Salle struggled to stave off UE in straight sets. Up 2-1 in the match, the Lady Spikers were once again faced with a disadvantage in the fourth as the Lady Warriors established a 22-16 cushion.

With Khy Cepada and Casiey Dongallo activated, UE has successfully dragged La Salle into a five-setter showdown.

Championship experience kicked in for the Lady Spikers in the rubber set, not giving up even after the Lady Warriors forced a 7-all deadlock. Thea Gagate and Shevana Laput teamed up to create a comfortable distance down the stretch, scoring crucial points to pull away from UE, 14-10.

Series of miscues scared the Lady Spikers but they eventually won the game, 15-12.

Gagate registered her season-high 22 points on 17 attacks, three kill blocks, and two service aces. Laput also finished in the 20-point mark with 21 points, while Alleiah Malaluan added 12.

The win boosted La Salle’s bid for the twice-to-beat bonus for the Final Four.

Meanwhile, Cepada led UE with 23 points, while Dongallo was not far behind with 22.

Featured image courtesy of UAAP

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