Title-favorite De La Salle University made a clear statement to the rest of the field with a clinical dismantling of hapless University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 25-11, 25-17, 25-12, Saturday in Pool A of the Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
The reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion squad was just too much for the Lady Altas despite the Lady Spikers missing the services of ace hitter Angel Canino and libero Justine Jazareno.
It took La Salle just 81 minutes to stamp its class over its overmatched victim to inch closer to clinching a spot in the quarterfinals of the 12-team tournament featuring the best collegiate women’s volleyball teams from all over the country.
Towering middle blocker Thea Gagate fired 12 points on eight hits and four blocks while Amie Provido also had 12 markers for the Lady Spikers.
Alleiah Malaluan and Shevana Laput chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively, for La Salle, which opted not to lineup Canino for the tournament to allow the reigning UAAP Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player to get a much-deserved rest.
“We just stuck to our game plan. We executed but we still have a lot of lapses. Hopefully, we’ll be consistent because everyone in the SSL prepared really well so we have to respect all our opponents,” Lady Spikers assistant coach Noel Orcullo said.
Meanwhile, Luzon qualifier Enderun Colleges drubbed Mindanao bet Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, 27-25, 25-22, 25-14, in Pool D.
Althea Virnyce Botor dropped 17 points while Erika Jin Deloria had 16 markers in the Lady Titan’s 83-minute conquest of the King Fishers.
“We had a tight start maybe because this is just the first time for us to play in this kind of atmosphere. Slow start but luckily, we won. The girls played their hearts out,” Enderun coach Ariel dela Cruz said.
Andrea Sendico put up 10 points for NDDU while NCAA MVP Mary Rhose Dapol was the only bright spot for Perpetual with eight points.