Ateneo and La Salle bring their fabled rivalry to men’s volleyball as they clash in the semifinal round of the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Saturday.
The organizing Sports Vision has set the keenly awaited duel at 4 p.m. to be aired live on ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23 to give the other supporters and fans of both schools the chance to watch the action on TV.
Though the Eagles look formidable after sweeping their Group B elims assignment, the Archers primed up for the big match by subduing the Far Eastern U Tams in their battle for the last semis berth in Group A last Wednesday.
It actually took La Salle five sets to foil the Tams but coach Ernesto Pamilar liked what he saw in his wards, particularly after pulling off the win with top hitter Raymark Woo playing below par.
Woo, who showed the way for the Taft-based school with a 19-hit norm in four games, struggled with just eight points against the Tams. But Cris Dumago stepped up to fire 24 hits and Arjay Onia and Mike Frey backed him up with a solid 14 and 12-point outputs, respectively.
That should make the Archers ready as they face the fancied Eagles in Game One of their best-of-three semis series in the mid-season conference of the country’s premier men’s volley league backed by Accel as official outfitter.
The other Final Four pairing pits Group A topnotcher National U against Group B second placer University of Santo Tomas at 12 noon.
Marck Espejo remains the marked man for Ateneo with the power-hitting MVP also hoping to draw solid support from Paul Koyfman, Joshua Villanueva, Rex Intal, Manuel Sumanguid III and setter Joner Polvorosa,
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs, the top spiking team, will lean on Bryan Bagunas, Madzlan Gampong, Kim Malabunga, Ricky Marcos and playmaker Kim Dayandante as they face off with the Tigers to be headed by Jomaru Amagan, Andrei Medina, Tyrone Carodan, guest player Kim Sawal and setter James Tajanlangit.
Also on tap tomorrow is the knockout duel for the last semis berth in the Shakey’s V-League with San Sebastian College and Ateneo squaring off at 6 p.m., also to be aired live on Channel 23 and via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com.