Don’t count them out.
The Adamson University Lady Falcons shocked the reigning UAAP champs De La Salle University Lady Spikers in five grueling sets, 22-25, 25-17, 17-25, 27-25, 16-14, to steal Game 1 of the best-of-three Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals Finals at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan, Wednesday.
Adamson remained unblemished after five games and gave DLSU its first taste of defeat in the pre-season tourney.
Team captain Lucille Almonte spearheaded the attack with 24 points in 20 attacks, three blocks, and one ace, while Ayesha Juegos picked up from her solid performance last game with 13 markers.
On the flip side, opposite hitter Shevana Laput tallied a tournament-high 30 points off 22 attacks, four blocks, and four service aces. Thea Gagate and Alleiah Malaluan chipped in 14 markers each, while Baby Jyne Soreno contributed 11 points.
Coach JP Yude’s crew showed no quit after playing catch up after the the first and third set defeats.
“Sinasabi ko nga lagi sa kanila, may tiwala talaga ko sa kanila eh. Kung sino ipasok ko, may tiwala talaga ako kaya I always encouraged them especially in the fourth set so sabi ko hindi pa tapos yung laban. Hindi pa naman 25. Isa-isahin natin, tiyagain natin so siguro naabsorb nila yun kasi nakita nila sakin na for me, hindi pa talo,” the promising coach said.
The Lady Falcons dug deep in the fourth set when they found themselves in an 11-20 hole. Almonte provided the spark for Adamson’s 11-1 run, keeping her team afloat before rookie Red Bascon took over to force a deciding set.
Both teams then went tit-for-tat in the final canto, but the momentum was definitely on the San Marcelino-based squad as Bascon delivered the final blow to grab the victory.
Middle blockers Sharya Ancheta and Lorene Toring were added weapons in Adamson’s arsenal with 10 points apiece. The former built a wall on defense with six blocks, while the latter made noise from the service line with three aces.
Bascon only scored seven points, but the former Adamson high school standout was not afraid of the bright lights and dealt damage in the crucial moments of the last two sets to take the Lady Falcons on the cusp of winning the SSL crown.
AdU and DLSU had a tough time minimizing their errors as they committed 21 and 33 miscues respectively.
“Kailangan pa rin na hindi kami kumpiyansa and continue to prepare for Game 2 so yung mga lapses namin kanina, yun pa yung tatrabahuhin namin sa ensayo,” Coach Yude mentioned.
Adamson will try to close the finals out on Saturday, 4pm still at the same venue.