We continue to look forward to Season 80 with Bernard Waje’s UAAP off-season reports assessing each team’s preparations and what that means for the up-coming conference.
Missed the other reports in our series? Check out them here: Ateneo Lady Eagles | UE Lady Warriors | UP Lady Maroons | Adamson Lady Falcons | UST Lady Tigresses | FEU Lady Tamaraws | NU Lady Bulldogs.
De LaSalle University Lady Spikers
Off-season grade: B+
Season 79 record: 11-3
The Lady Spikers took the Season 79 title after beating their arch-rival Ateneo De Manila University Lady Eagles. With that title marks the goodbye of their long time setter, Kim Fajardo, who bagged her third Best Setter award. The Batangas native will be a huge loss for the Lady Spikers.
Fortunately, unlike other teams the DLSU Lady Spikers only have that one loss to mourn and whilst it the loss of Fajardo can’t be underestimated they still have a lot in the tank for Season 80.
First up, they have reigning UAAP MVP, Majoy Baron. Baron claimed MVP title after manning DLSU’s middle on both ends and she also finished second in the blocks department.
Also back to suit up next season is Season 79’s best receiver, Dawn Macandili who powered La Salle’s floor defense, ranking second in digging after UE Lady Warrior’s Kath Arado. The star libero has kept herself busy during the off-season, playing with the Philippine National team. She played in the AVC where the Philippines finished eighth and impressively won the Second Best Libero award after Kobata Mako of Japan. She then replaced Denden Lazaro in the National Squad that played at the SEA games.
On top of that, Macandili also found time to take a leading role with her club team, F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in the PSL Conferences.
DLSU’s open hitters have also been busy during the off-season, parading with F2 Logistics. Desiree Cheng and Tin Tiamzon were a vital part of LaSalle’s title defense where they took the roles of season 78 graduates Ara Galang and Cyd Demecillo and they will have benefited from their experience in the PSL.
But the most crucial part of LaSalle’s offense next season is none other than Michelle Cobb. She will be tasked with filling the void that Fajardo has left in the team. Cobb showed potential playing back up for Fajardo in Season 79 and saw a decent amount of playing time so it will be interesting to see if she can step up to become the main setter of the Taft Squad.
DLSU team’s core is still intact for next season and there is no reason why the shouldn’t be thinking that they can win UAAP 80. LaSalle is one of the, if not the best, teams at both ends. The defense is second to none, always leading the blocking and floor defense statistics.
The same can be said for their offensive prowess. Their hitters can score from all corners and that will make Cobb’s job a little easier.
None the less, their supremacy will still be put to the test by other teams in the upcoming UAAP wars. Can they take their third consecutive title or they will break down without Fajardo?