The De La Salle Lady Spikers dominated the second round of eliminations of UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball, sweeping five of their seven won games. They capped off their incredible streak with a commanding 3-0 victory over the Ateneo Lady Eagles, sending their archrivals crashing down to third place.
"We're treating every game like it's our last. Of course, we were all out. It's now or never every game," said Kim Kianna Dy, who led the scoring with 13 points.
It was a no-bearing game for the Lady Spikers, as they already claimed the top seed prior to the rivalry showdown. Still, they left no stone unturned.
"There was less pressure because it's a no-bearing game. But then, we wanted to play well to gain confidence coming to the semis," said team captain Majoy Baron, who finished with four blocks en route to nine points.
Aside from Dy and Baron, Des Cheng and Tin Tiamzon also churned out impressive numbers. Middle blocker Julia Ipac provided quality minutes off the bench. Michelle Cobb had a 24-14 edge over her Ateneo counterpart Deanna Wong, while also contributing four blocks and three service aces. Dawn Macandili was superb as usual with 14 digs and ten receptions.
DLSU head coach Ramil de Jesus noted that this kind of team effort is what he wants his players to showcase every game.
"It just so happened that all the players on the court were productive. That's what we need to practice more, because there are times that only a few of them score. It's better if everybody contributes to the team," he said.
As they continue their quest for their third straight title, the champion coach reminded his players that they need to further elevate their performance as they enter the most crucial stretch of the season, starting with their Final Four matchup against National University.
"One game at a time. We're done with Ateneo, so it's about time that we focus on our next game, which is the semis against NU," said De Jesus.
"I always tell them, this whole eliminations, this is not important. The most important games are those in the semis and finals - if we reach the finals. That's the motivation. We should prepare for the important games."