DEFENDING champion Ateneo de Manila University guns for an automatic spot to the finals when it faces De La Salle University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 77 women’s volleyball tournament today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Ateneo-La Salle match is at 4 p.m. while National University (NU) battles Adamson University at 12 noon and University of the Philippines (UP) meets Far Eastern University (FEU) at 2 p.m.
The Lady Eagles are holding an immaculate 13-0 card and are just a win away of completing a sweet sweep of the elimination round. Running second are the Lady Spikers (12-1), who are aiming to stop the onslaught of the Lady Eagles.
“It’s going to be tough going there [finals]. Five other teams are also praying to make it to the finals,” said La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus, who will be relying on team captain Ara Galang and veterans Mika Reyes, Kim Fajardo, Cydthealee Demecillo, Desiree Cheng and Kim Dy.
Ateneo, on the other hand, will be banking on reigning Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez along with Amy Ahomiro, Ella De Jesus, Michelle Morente, Julia Morado and libero Denden Lazaro.
“Our mindset is one game at a time. We are now focused on our last game in the elimination round saka na ang future games. Kailangan lang maglaro ng maayos. We have to be mentally prepared [against La Salle,” said Valdez.
NU (6-6), UP (5-7), Adamson (5-7), University of Santo Tomas (5-8) and FEU (4-8) are in a tight contest for the two remaining berths in the Final Four.