Beat 3-peat UAAP champs DLSU Lady Spikers-A A +A
Sunday, September 15, 2013
RIDING high on their sizzling spikes and tricky placing, the Manila All-Stars humbled the three-peat champions De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers, 25-20, 25-18, 27-25, at the packed University of Southeastern Philippines (Usep) Gymnasium and Cultural Center Saturday night.
The 25-year-old Cha Cruz, a Grade 2 teacher at the International School in Manila, was upbeat about their victory.
"Ang saya ng crowd, nadadala kami. Nakakabuhay sila," former DLSU team captain Cruz told Sun.Star Davao in an interview at their dugout.
Alyja Daphne "Jaja" Santiago, a 17-year-old six-footer freshman at the National University, said she enjoyed playing for Dabawenyos and for the charity.
"Nakakatuwa ang crowd. Ang saya palang maglaro dito sa Davao," Santiago said.
The experience-laden All Stars, already up two sets to nil, were poised to sweep the volleyball for a cause match as they led, 21-15, in the third set. But then former Ateneo de Manila University's Fille Cainglet succumbed to service and spike errors allowing DLSU to inch closer, 17-22.
An ace serve by Cydthealee Demecillo gave the Lady Archers another lift only to be answered by ex-Lasallian Stephanie Mercado's powerspike and a drop by former Shakey's V-League series MVP Ruby de Leon of the National University for a 24-19 All-Stars advantage.
The three-peat UAAP titlists, however, were not to be pushed that easy as a Mika Reyes drop with three consecutive Ara Galang spikes and strong side blocker forced the match at 24-all via Mika Esperanza's services.
All-Stars' Santiago gave out a hard-driven spike of her own that was again countered by an off-speed spike of Galang for the 25-all standoff to the elation of hundreds of Davao fans.
But DLSU's late surge was then foiled with Cainglet and Cruz's back-to-back attacks to seal the win for the All-Stars.
The All-Stars team was also composed of ex-Ateneo de Manila University standout Suzanne Roces, Adamson University's Mayette Zapanta, National University's Ruby de Leon and Jen Reyes.
The event was organized by JCI Central under project chairperson Kenneth Tan and officiated by Balibolista de Dabaw.
The Balay sa Adunay Pangandoy Youth Rehabilitation Center in Panacan is beneficiary of the exhibition game.
Cruz, meanwhile, said the current roster of the Lady Archers still stand a good chance of a four-peat in the new UAAP season.
"Mataas pa magiging preparasyon ng team. Kayang-kaya pa nilang mag-jell kahit na may mga rookies," said Cruz who played five years with the Lady Archers and helped win for the team four championships.
Cruz, who came to the Davao for the first time, looked forward to visiting tourist spots, adding; "Excited ako sa island hopping (laughs)."
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 16, 2013.