De La Salle University defeated Ateneo de Manila University, 19-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-16, in an explosive do-or-die Game 3 of the finals of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Saturday. It was La Salle’s ninth UAAP women’s volleyball crown.
Kim Kianna Dy posted 17 points on 16 spikes and an ace to bag the UAAP finals Most Valuable Player award.
“I am really thankful for this award. I share this award to my teammates, school and to our supporters,” said Dy.
“We have reviewed our errors in Game 2 and that’s what we fixed today. I am happy that we followed our game plan today,” La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus said.
Mary Joy Baron contributed 11 points while graduating players Mika Reyes, Ara Galang, and Cyd Demecillo contributed nine points apiece for the Lady Spikers who’ve last won the championship in Season 75 in 2013. La Salle’s victory ended the Lady Eagles’ two-year reign.
“I am very proud sa mga graduating players ko. Nakakatak sa puso at isip nila na hindi sila magpapatalo,” added de Jesus.
Despite dominating the first set with a 7-0 run, Ateneo’s floor offense deteriorated against the solid block line of La Salle in front of a cheering crowd of 22,848.
La Salle exploited Ateneo’s 11 errors to the hilt and implemented a solid game plan that limited MVP Alyssa Valdez’s scoring for the Lady Eagles
“Ito ‘yung panalo namin pinaka mahirap at ito rin ‘yung pinakamasarap,” de Jesus said.
Valdez notched 31 points coming off 30 spikes but only good enough to give Ateneo a first runner-up finish.
“Congratulations to the De La Salle Lady Spikers. They really played well today and played as a team. They are really strong,” said Valdez in a postmatch news conference.
“Win or lose, it’s [Ateneo] the school we choose,” she added.
An emotional Valdez roamed around the court to say farewell to her faithful fans.’
Jhoana Maraguinot contributed 10 markers while Bea De Leon and Jia Morado notched 13 points combined.
La Salle won in Game 1, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21, but Ateneo took Game 2, 18-25, 26-28, 25-17, 25-16, 15-11 via come-from-behind win.