After trailing by two sets to NU, the DLSU Lady Spikers pulled off a stellar comeback to win their first UAAP title in five years.
After a five-year drought, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers have reclaimed their UAAP volleyball crown.
Starting Game 2 two sets down, the Lady Spikers went on to win the UAAP Season 85 championship in an epic against National University, with a score of 19-25, 23-25, 25-15, 25-17, 15-10, in front of 20,514 fans at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday night.
This victory marks De La Salle’s first title since Season 80 and their 12th overall in 20 finals appearances.
“Tyinaga ng mga bata. Kahit pa sabihing 5 sets, mas masarap manalo nang pinaghirapan mo,” assistant coach Noel Orcullo expressed.
A winning comeback
With the Lady Bulldogs on the verge of extending the finals series to three games after claiming the first two sets, De La Salle came together like a well-oiled team in the third set to come back with a convincing 25-15 set.
The Lady Spikers kept their momentum going in the fourth set, pulling away from a 10-8 count to create a 20-13 lead, ultimately winning the set 25-17 to bring the game to a fifth set.
In the final set of the game, De La Salle quickly took a 5-1 lead. However, NU fought back with Alyssa Solomon’s impressive performance, tying the score at seven-all.
However, the Lady Spikers regained control and, leading 10-9, sealed the victory with three consecutive points, including back-to-back blocks by Thea Gagate on Mhicaela Belen and Solomon.
Leiah Malaluan then delivered a crosscourt kill to secure the match point at 14-9. Although Solomon managed to score one more point for the Lady Bulldogs, Gagate fired anew to secure the win.
Finals MVP Mars Alba demonstrated her playmaking skills with 16 excellent sets, in addition to contributing three points, while orchestrating the offense for De La Salle.
Rookie MVP Angel Canino led the balanced attack with 19 points, including 12 spikes, six aces, and a block, while Thea Gagate contributed 17 points through 12 attacks and five blocks. Shevana Laput added 12 points, while Fifi Sharma had 11.
De La Salle remained undefeated against NU in all four games this season, reversing the outcome from last year when the Lady Bulldogs were the ones who didn’t lose a match against the Lady Spikers.
However, DLSU found its momentum in the third set and kept the engine running.
Pulling off a strong recovery, the ladies in green were determined to close out the finals series in Game 2, winning three straight sets, 25-15, 25-17, 15-10.
This victory marks the Lady Spikers’ 12th championship win in 20 finals appearances in the UAAP, and their first trophy since Season 80.
Images courtesy of UAAP Media.