Ateneo intimidated after Game 1 loss - Gumabao
MANILA, Philippines -- La Salle star Michele Gumabao knew they had a psychological advantage over rivals Ateneo after the Lady Spikers rallied to stun the Lady Eagles in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 75 women's volleyball finals last March 2 at the Araneta Coliseum.
Gumabao and the rest of the Lady Spikers were down two sets to none but regrouped and rallied to win in five sets, 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22 and 15-6.
In Game 2 last Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena, the Lady Spikers never gave the Lady Eagles a chance, winning in three sets 25-23, 25-20 and 25-16 to complete a three-peat.
"When we got Game 1, talagang alam na namin na takot na talaga 'yung kalaban," Gumabao, who was named Finals Most Valuable Player, told reporters following their Game 2 victory.
"So ang ginawa lang talaga namin kanina, tinry namin ilabas 'yung angas namin, 'yung leadership namin sa loob," she added. "You could see it in our opponents' eyes na talagang takot sila pumasok pa lang."
It was the second straight season that the Lady Spikers defeated the Lady Eagles in the finals.
During the on-court interview after the game, Gumabao also said they adopted the mindset that they can win the game and the championship.
"Before coming into the MOA Arena, we conditioned our mind. We really believed na kaya namin mag-champion and we did it, so it's a very rewarding feeling," she said.
La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus, for his part, said he knew they could clinch the game after winning the second set in Game 2.
"After noong second set lang, nakita ko 'yung kondisyon ng Ateneo. Medyo pagod na, wala na halos dating 'yung mga palo," told TJ Manotoc of ABS-CBN News. "So sabi ko, makukuha na namin ang third set."
De Jesus also commended the Lady Eagles for the considerable progress of their volleyball program.
"'Yung Ateneo, nakikita ko naman na malayo ang narating ng Ateneo compared nung nag-start ako sa UAAP. Laging nasa last or second to the last," he said. "Talagang nag-develop at nag-improve ang team ng Ateneo."
The Season 75 women's volleyball championship was La Salle's third straight and eighth over-all in the UAAP, all of which have come with De Jesus as the coach.