Takeaways: La Salle sweeps FEU, inches closer to third grand slam

The De La Salle Lady Spikers solidified their bid for their third-straight title as they survived a gritty FEU Lady Tamaraws squad, 29-27, 25-21, 25-21, to take a 1-0 lead in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball Finals.

La Salle is a win away from securing their third grand slam feat.

Here are our takeaways from the Game 1 of La Salle-FEU’s finals showdown:

LA SALLE

THE DEPTH
In what should have been an all important game for La Salle, last year’s Finals MVP Desiree Cheng was seemingly having an off day.

But the Lady Spikers can afford that.

Cheng tallied two points in the first two sets before sitting out in the entirety of the third frame. It prompted Ramil de Jesus to send in third year outside hitter May Luna who played a breakthrough game in the match.

Luna was not the lone benchwarmer who was given minutes in the match as Arriane Layug, Carmel Saga and Norielle Ipac were also sent in to give some of the La Salle starters a breather.


LUNA EMERGES

Luna is one of the highly-touted recruits from the Rookie Class of 2016. People even tagged her as the apparent heir to former La Salle star Ara Galang.

But in the last two years, she has been playing sparingly as the Lady Spikers have a deep pool of wingers including her batchmate Tin Tiamzon who already got the starting nod last season.

Nevertheless, whenever Luna gets called up to floor, she is always willing to deliver. In this match against FEU, she finished with nine markers off the bench – most of which were scored in the third set.


MS. EVERYWHERE

Like she was all-season long, Dawn Macandili made it hard for FEU attackers to convert. She masterfully handled hits from FEU’s main gunners Bernadeth Pons and Chin Chin Basas.

She delivered another double-double performance of 24 digs off 31 total attempts on top of 13 excellent receives for 57.14% efficiency.


FEU

LOST TAMARAWS
It was a quiet afternoon for the league’s fourth best scorer Pons as she was only limited to nine points in the match. In their elimination matches against La Salle, Pons posted an average of 18.5 markers per game.

Besides Pons, the team’s other offensive source Basas was held to a measly six markers. The opposite hitter Basas averages 11.71 points in the elimination round.

Celine Domingo – the leading Best Blocker this season – also did not play to her potential as she only tallied a solitary block.

BRIGHT SPOTS
If there is something the Lady Tams should be happy about it is Heather Guino-o’s resurgence.
She has been behind the shadows of Pons but she proved that she can also deliver for the team.

Guino-o played her best game of the season finishing with 14 points from nine attacks, four blocks and an ace. Middle blocker Czarina Carandang also put up four points off the bench.

ERRORS AGAIN
Just like their first two encounters against La Salle this season, the Lady Tams were marred by unforced errors yet again. In the eliminations, they gave up 81 free points combined to La Salle.

In this match, they tallied 34 miscues – 17 coming from the first set alone. They overcame a seven-point deficit in the first frame only to succumb to consecutive errors in the latter part of the set.

Ten of La Salle’s last eleven points in the opening set were actually off FEU’s errors.

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