Unscathed Lady Patriots advance to championship after sweeping the best-of-three NCR-UCLAA semis
After sweeping the Mandaluyong-based squad in game 1, the Lady Patriots carved an unblemished 8-0 record at the expense of the Rizal Technological University (RTU) Lady Thunders, 20-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17, and opened the doors for the first National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) volleyball championship in the best-of-three semifinals match held at the Ugnayang La Salle, March 30.
Rising from heartache
“Naging stepping stone ‘yong Regionals para makuha namin [ito], kasi nalaglag kami doon, [kaya] sa NCRUCLAA kailangan naming manalo,” DLSU-D volleyball women’s head coach Joven Racelis expressed on the experience they gained after the heartbreaking loss at the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) – Regionals.
Coming from a win, the Patriot coach disclosed that they still have things to work on and they will do this by watching the video they recorded last Thursday. “[Iwo-work pa] ‘yong depensa, kasi maliliit talaga. Sa training [naman], may video [ng game] kami pinag-aaralan namin kung saan kami aatake [at] kung kailan kami aatake.” Racelis explained.
The green-and-white women squad let the Lady Thunders taste a set win in the first quadrant⎯but that didn’t happen again as the Dasmariñas-based squad fed off the errors of the Lady Thunders in the last three eventual sets.
RTU took the lead in the third frame but DLSU-D rose from an 8-13 hole, courtesy of Patriots Frances Dominique Bartolazo and Eunice Castillo, and regained the cushion at 22-21⎯eventually clinching the set win at 25-22. The Lady Patriots’ tenacity held on to the fourth canto for the 3-1 set wins.
The relentless squad will face the other bracket’s top seed, Technological Institute of the Philippines on April 4 in the finals.
After losing the PRISAA – Regionals crown, it was a double torment for the Patriots in the volleyball men’s division as they dropped the championship ticket for NCRUCLAA with set scores of 23-25, 25-18, 19-25, and 21-25. Problems in blocking RTU’s spikes together with 17 timely errors yielded the golden chance for the Patriot spikers.
Patriot and a player for the Philippines in the upcoming SEA (Southeast Asian) Games Eddiemar Kasim tallied 19 points while his teammate, Aidam Adam, aided the spikers with 15 markers.
“Nawala lang sa blocking, ‘yong pattern namin, nabura. Zero lang ‘yong blocking, ‘di solid. [At] ‘yong nakatalo rin sa amin ‘yong errors naming,” Patriot coach Al-frazin Abdulwahab shared.
Nevertheless, the helm will hammer the young Patriot team. “Sa training, individual efforts. Sa isip naman, parang sa mga sinabi ko, maisip nila ‘yong pagkakamali nila. Kumbaga pakinggan nila [ako].”