With the top spot and the twice –to-beat privilege attached to it well secured going into the semi-final round, defending champion and eight-peat seeking Adamson University will just be trying to end its elimination round assignments in the UAAP Women’s Softball Championship sans pressure starting today at the Rizal Memorial grounds.
The Lady Falcons, rulers of the event since 2010, play National University at the 11 a.m. second offering of a three-game bill no longer worried about winning since their present 9-1 win-loss slate look superior enough for the other teams in he seven-side field to topple them from the top of the totem pole.
Why, coach Ana Santiago was even thinking of utilizing her bench in today’s match and that against La Salle on Saturday not only to give her starters the much-needed respite, but, likewise, to prepare her girls for the tougher grind ahead.
That was after disposing off her closer pursuer University of Santo Tomas, 2-1, last Monday.
“We need more personnel in the playoffs where games are expected to be tougher kaya kailangan ma-expose ‘yung ibang player sa mabihigat na labang darating,” Santiago told The Manila Times following that victory over the Tigresses.
“Nakita naman natin ang hirap manalo sa elimination round pa lamang. Lalakas pa ang mga kalaban sa semifinals at sa finals, hopefully, kung makararating kami doon. So, we really need to prepare for any eventuality,” she said.
A victory by the Lady Bulldogs (6-4) bolsters their chances of ending up second and avail of the win only once incentive comes the next round.
The Tigresses, whose 7-3 record is still good for second place, try to strengthen their grip of that position and enjoy the second twice-to-beat incentive when they play dangerous University of the East Lady Warriors at the 1 p.m. man card.
UE, incidentally, is the only team that stained Adamson’s otherwise 19-game winning streak. 3-2, ending the first round of the two-round qualifying phase. The Lady Warriors’ even 5-5 card in fifth is a win shy the Lady Bulldogs’ third placing 6-4.
University of the Philippines, whose 4-8 record gives the Lady Maroons a slim chance of making it to the round of four, battles cellar dwelling Ateneo at the day’s opening tussle at 9 o’clock.