Ateneo fights for dear life as it clashes with a heavily favored National U today at the close of the single round elims in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
After dropping their first two games, the Lady Eagles downed the Perpetual Help Lady Altas, 27-25, 25-13, 25-16, to nail the first of two wins they need to force a playoff for the last quarterfinal berth in Group A of the two-division tournament sponsored by Shakey’s.
A win over NU in their 6 p.m. duel will set Ateneo for a showdown with Technological Institute of the Phl, which finished the elims with a 2-2. The playoff will be held Monday, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
Only the top three teams from each side will move to the carryover quarters with defending champion National U and San Sebastian clinching the first two seats with 3-0 and 3-1 slates, respectively, in the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.
The Group B qualifiers are University of the Philippines, Far Eastern U and University of Santo Tomas.
FEU and UP, toting identical 3-0 cards, dispute the top spot in their group as they face off at 4 p.m. Both matches will be aired live on ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23 and via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com.
Pauline Gaston, Michelle Morente, Kim Gequillana, Julianne Samonte, Ana Gopico , Jessica Tan and setter Julia Morado hope to put in a solid outing, offensively and defensively as they try to neutralize the talented NU side beefed up by the expected return of Jaja Santiago.
The 6-4 Santiago, who normed 46 hits in three games and the league’s leading spiker with 70.83 percent success, is tipped to see action today, making life tougher for Ateneo, which has struggled with a practically new roster following the graduation of former ace Alyssa Valdez.
Jasmine Nabor is another player to watch for the Lady Bulldogs as the sophomore setter continued to dish out solid games, including a season-high 62 excellent sets against the Altas the last time out.
“She’s a revelation, she’s been playing really well for us the past months,” said NU assistant Edjet Mabbayad of Nabor, who also scored 11 hits.
In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference, NU takes on St. Benilde at 10 a.m. while Ateneo tangles with UST at 12 noon.