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Angel Canino, La Salle motivated by failed title defense

La Salle Lady Spikers' Angel Canino UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

La Salle Lady Spikers’ Angel Canino after their title retention bid ended at the hands of UST in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — La Salle’s shattered title-retention bid after a Final Four exit will only make Angel Canino and the Lady Spikers next UAAP women’s volleyball season.

The Lady Spikers ended their reign with a heartbreaking 25-20, 16-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-7 loss to the twice-to-beat UST Tigresses in the Season 86 women’s volleyball Final Four on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Angel Canino, who was playing through a forearm injury, left everything on the floor with 14 points, 12 digs, and eight excellent receptions but couldn’t save their title campaign.

READ: UST Tigresses back in UAAP volleyball Finals after dethroning La Salle

“Ito, itong loss na yun. Itong season na ito, motivation na ito (This loss, this season–this will be a motivation),” said a smiling Canino before leaving the MOA Arena.

The reigning MVP missed five games due to a non-volleyball-related accident that left her with a cut on her forearm. She returned in their final elimination game but lost to UST, handing the twice-to-beat bonus.

It wasn’t the second season she wanted but it won’t stop her from bringing La Salle back to the top next year.

“Siyempre nakakalungkot din po sa nangyari but hindi kami dito titigil. It serves as a motivation for all of us,” said the league’s second Season MVP and Rookie of the Year.

READ: UAAP: UST clinches twice-to-beat after repeating over La Salle

(Of course we’re sad, but we won’t stop here. This is a motivation for all of us.)

After an hour inside the locker room, the Lady Spikers still accommodated their fans, who showered them with support outside the venue.

“Siyempre sobrang nakakatuwa kasi despite all the wins, all the losses, andiyan sila. So, overwhelming and alam kong mahal na mahal namin sila and mahal nila kami,” Canino said.

(We feel happy because despite all the wins and all the losses, they’re still there. It’s overwhelming, but I know we love them very much and they love us as well.”

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Exactly five years ago, La Salle was eliminated by the twice-to-beat UST in five sets in the Season 81 Final Four that ended its three-year title reign.

La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus will bank on Canino, Shevana Laput, and Amie Provido as they start the road to redemption with Thea Gagate, Maicah Larroza, JR Levina, and Gillianna Torres leaving after this season.

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