Top seed Far Eastern University (FEU) and No. 2 National University set out as the slight picks as they resume their respective final drive against Ateneo and University of the Philippines (UP), respectively, in the semifinal round of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The Lady Tams trampled the Lady Eagles in three in the final quarters playdate last Wednesday to clinch the top seeding. But the latter brought down the San Sebastian Lady Stags, also in three, in their playoff for the last semis berth on Saturday to arrange a Final Four clash with the former.
Game time is at 4 p.m. with FEU wary of Ateneo, which showed some spunk in disposing of SSC to complete an all-UAAP cast in the semis.
The Lady Bulldogs, who subdued the Lady Eagles to capture the crown last year, face a vastly-improved UP side in the 6 p.m. main game.
Though the Lady Tams have the edge in experience over the young Ateneo squad, FEU coach Shaw delos Santos still warns his wards not to take the Lady Eagles lightly and expects the likes of Mary Joy Palma, Tony Rose Basas, Anne Guino-o, Bernadeth Pons and setter Kyle Negrito to further raise the level of their game.
Ateneo coach Tai Bundit is expected to come up with key adjustments to neutralize FEU’s edge the way he did in surprising the slightly favored SSC side in their sudden death.
Skipper Michelle Morente and Kim Gequillana are likely to spearhead the Loyola-based school’s bid along with the comebacking Ana Gopico, Pauline Gaston and Bea de Leon.
UP, on the other hand, hopes to pounce on the expected absence of Jaja Santiago as it steps up its drive for a first-ever crack at the crown on a team built around Isa Molde, Kathy Bersola, Diana Carlos, Nicole Tiamzon, Justine Dorog and playmaker Mae Basarte, who will slug it out against the likes of NU veterans Aiko Urdas, Jorelle Singh and Joy Doromal along with emerging stars Risa Sato and Jasmine Nabor.