La Salle's Desiree Cheng named UAAP Player of the Week

MANILA, Philippines – Just when the La Salle Lady Spikers looked vulnerable in the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament, their graduating captain Desiree Cheng found her groove.

Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the UP Lady Maroons, the Lady Spikers booked back-to-back wins against the NU Lady Bulldogs and the UST Golden Tigresses with the resurgent Cheng leading the charge. 

Cheng fired 17 points in La Salle's straight sets win over NU on Wednesday, March 27, before dropping a career-high 20 points in a revenge win over UST on Sunday, March 20. 

For keying La Salle's run back to solo 2nd in the standings, Cheng was deemed the rightful winner for 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 the Tigresses in the first round.

Cheng proved vital, not only because of her offensive exploits, but also as the La Salle emotional barometer.

"Kailangan namin bumawi, 'yung bawi na hindi lang puro salita kung 'di 'yung bawi na may gawa," she said after vanquishing UST. 

(We needed to bounce back, not just bouncing back through words but also through action.) 

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.

"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."

(I feel the teams are getting stronger as the season progresses. So even if other teams have nothing to lose, we still need to respect them because if we don't, they have a chance of beating us unexpectedly.)

Cheng edged out FEU's Ivana Agudo, NU's Jennifer Nierva and Ateneo's Kat Tolentino for the weekly honor given out by print and online media on the beat. – Rappler.com