Defending champion De La Salle University aims to strengthen its hold of the No. 2 spot when it battles Far Eastern University (FEU) at the start of the second round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament today at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Spikers take on the Lady Tamaraws at 4 p.m. right after the tussle between rejuvenated National University (NU) and winless Adamson University at 2 pm.
La Salle dropped to 5-2 following its 24-26, 24-26, 25-21, 17-25 loss to last year’s runner-up Ateneo de Manila University last Saturday, enabling the Lady Eagles to take the solo lead with a solid 6-1 finish in the first round.
The Lady Spikers will lean on the solid games of Season 78 Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Kim Dy, veteran setter Kim Fajardo and prolific libero Dawn Macandili but middle hitters Mary Joy Baron and Aduke Ogunsanya, open spikers Ernestine Tiamzon, Desiree Cheng and reserve May Luna must also contribute.
FEU is also coming off a 16-25, 25-21, 24-26, 20-25 loss to University of Santo Tomas, making them hungrier to bounce back and to stay within the Top 4.
Power-hitting Bernadeth Pons, currently ranked second in scoring department, will spearhead the Lady Tamaraws’ onslaught along with Toni Rose Basas, Jerilli Malabanan, Remy Joy Palma, Jeanette Villareal and Angelica Cayuna.
FEU, UST, NU and University of the Philippines are in a four-way tie for No. 3 with 4-3 each.
The Lady Bulldogs halted their three-game losing skid with a nerve-wracking 25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 18-25, 15-12 win over the Lady Maroons last Sunday.
“Winning this game (against UP) will make them back from their right senses. It’s a morale boosting win for us but we have to work hard again and practice hard to keep on track (of making it to the Final Four),” stressed Lady Bulldogs head coach Roger Gorayeb, who will rely on MVP candidate Jaja Santiago, Filipino-Japanese Risa Sato, wing spikers Jorelle Singh and Aiko Urdas, and playmaker Jasmine Nabor.
But NU will be facing a determined Adamson University side.
The Lady Falcons are raring to nail their first win this season after suffering seven straight setbacks that pulled them at the bottom of the standings.
Jema Galanza, Joy Dacoron and Bernadette Flora must produced solid numbers for the Lady Falcons to score an upset win against the Lady Bulldogs.
Games today (The Arena)
8 a.m. – UP vs DLSU (m)
10 a.m. – ADMU vs FEU (m)
2 p.m. – NU vs AdU (w)
4 p.m. – DLSU vs FEU (w)