The De La Salle Lady Spikers marched out of the FilOil Flying V Center yesterday in silence – with slump shoulders and bowed heads. Their mentor, Ramil de Jesus, also politely declined for a post-game interview as they immediately headed back to Taft.
They have just dropped back-to-back games.
The three-time defending champions were crushed by an incomplete University of Sto. Tomas in straight sets, 20-25, 22-25, 17-25, to absorb two consecutive losses. This came after the green-and-white succumbed to University of the Philippines in a five-set thriller few days back.
La Salle now holds a win-loss 3-2 card.
For any other team, losing twice in a row in the eliminations is not news anymore given the level of competition in the UAAP. But for the Lady Spikers, owner of 11 championships, it was unheard of – at least for the last 11 years.
The last time the de Jesus-backed squad had a two-game losing skid in the eliminations was in Season 70, when DLSU’s 11 matches – every game that ineligible player Jacq Alarca was fielded – were forfeited.
The slump was uncharacteristic for a program that has dominated the Final Four era.
Y’all already know. La Salle back to Razon. pic.twitter.com/mhwZJ4SppX
— Miguel Luis Flores (@InternetMigs) March 6, 2019
In both losses, La Salle has been outperformed in attacks – five fewer that UP’s 58 and measly 28 kills against 41 of UST. Their performance in digging has also been lesser, only managing 54 digs in their recent lost while their opponent registered 72.
They also played error-ravaged volleyball, committing a combined tally of 60 errors and averaging 7.5 errors per set the last two timeouts.
With the loss, fans couldn’t help but question La Salle’s capability to go for 4-peat. But while a new set of predictions came up, former Lady Spikers said there was no reason to be rattled as the season is far from over.
Thru their Twitter, former champions Majoy Baron, Gyra Barroga, Mika Esperanza and Cienne Cruz tried to lift the spirits of the current green-and-white spikers, telling them to “trust the process” and “tiwala lang.”
Chill lang guys! Tiwala lang 💚
— MaJoy Baron (@majoybaron) March 6, 2019
Trust the process. You got this ☺️💚
— Gyra Barroga (@gyrabarroga) March 6, 2019
Tiwala lang.💚 Love you, girls. 🤗🤗🤗
— mika esperanza (@mikaaa01) March 6, 2019
Go La Salle, bawi 💚
— Cienne Cruz (@cienneycruz) March 6, 2019
Meanwhile, three-time Best Setter Kim Fajardo and two-time MVP Aby Marano retweeted Angge Tabaquero’s tweet that says “Tough times build tough people.”
— Kim Fajardo (@kimfajardo9) March 6, 2019
True enough, DLSU’s latest setback has many implications on the ongoing UAAP season. But what’s also true is that de Jesus and his wards do not give in to oppositions so easily, especially now that they are gunning for a rare 4-peat.
The Lady Spikers are hoping to arrest the skid against the University of the East on Saturday before tussling with Far Eastern University next week.