Just when the De La Salle University Lady Spikers looked vulnerable, graduating captain Desiree Cheng found her groove.
The three-time defending champions were coming off a disheartening loss to University of the Philippines entering last week’s slate of matches.
The resurgent Cheng first found her form in leading the Lady Spikers with 19 points in a straight-sets win over upstart National University last Wednesday.
She then followed up with an inspired performance, dropping a career-high 20 points to help her squad avenge their first-round loss to the University of Santo Tomas last Sunday.
For keying La Salle’s run back to solo second in the standings, Cheng was selected as the Chooks to Go/Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week.
The Lady Spikers, now with a 7-3 record, were determined to prove they were better than the team that lost in straight sets to UST in the first round.
Cheng proved vital, not only because of her offensive exploits but also as the La Salle emotional barometer.
“Siguro mas gusto lang namin manalo today, mas gusto namin na gumanda ‘yung standing namin, and maglaro kami as one team, kaya ganoon ‘yung naging result,” said La Salle’s graduating captain after vanquishing the Golden Tigresses.
“Kailangan namin bumawi; ‘yung bawi na hindi lang puro salita kun’di ‘yung bawi na may gawa.”
Last Season’s Best Server trusts that La Salle will continue to play with the same energy and pride as the tournament winds down to its crucial stretch.
“Siguro kailangan namin maging consistent na. Ganito na ‘yung gagalawin namin all throughout,” she insisted.
“Feeling ko kasi habang tumatagal mas lumalakas yung mga teams, so kahit na ganoon na nothing to lose na ‘yung ibang teams, kailangan pa rin naming respetuhin sila kasi baka mamaya sila pa ‘yung makadali sa team namin, unexpected.”
Cheng edged out Far Eastern University’s Ivana Agudo, National U’s Jennifer Nierva and Ateneo De Manila University’s Kat Tolentino for the weekly honor given out by print and online media on the beat.