ARA Galang makes her much-anticipated comeback as De La Salle clashes with Far Eastern University today as the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament resumes at the Philsports Arena.
Whether Galang is fully recovered from a harrowing knee injury she sustained in the semifinals 11 months ago remains to be seen, as the Lady Spikers are determined to reclaim the throne after successive runner-up finishes.
The La Salle-FEU game is at 4 p.m. right after University of Santo Tomas takes on dangerous Adamson University in the curtain raiser at 2 p.m.
Toughened by a stint in a club league, the Lady Spikers still boasts of one of the tallest frontlines in Mika Reyes, Majoy Baron and Christine Soyud, as blocking remains the Taft towers’ biggest asset.
If Galang struggles this early, the Lady Spikers can count on Kim Dy and Cyd Demecillo to get their offense going, libero Dawn Macandili will take care on the defensive end, while setter Kim Fajardo will do what she does best in orchestrating plays.
The quest for the elusive 30th tiara begins for the Lady Tamaraws with setter Gyzelle Sy returning for one final stab for glory along with holdovers Bernadeth Pons, Remy Palma, Jerilli Malabanan, Toni Rose Basas and rookie Carly Hernandez.
With Pam Lastimosa out due to ACL injury, new skipper EJ Laure, last year’s co-Rookie of the Year, will carry the load of the Tigresses, who are eyeing to end years of not making it to the Final Four with coach Kungfu Reyes, who took over from Odjie Mamon who is now full-time with their men’s teams.
Middle hitters Ria Meneses, Chloe Cortez and Jessey de Leon, along with open spikers Carmela Tunay, Cherry Rondina and comebacking Gi Reyes will be the vital cogs for UST.
Hoping to recover from a seventh place finish, the Lady Falcons, who played against club teams in Thailand last month, will bank on veterans Mylene Paat, Jema Galanza, Erika Alkuino, Keith Lebumfacil, Jelli Tempiatura and Joy Dacoron.