University of the Philippines (UP) hopes to sustain its surge as it faces defending champion National University (NU) today, gunning for a victory and a berth in the Final Four of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The Lady Maroons repulsed the Ateneo Lady Eagles, 25-18, 14-25, 25-20, 25-18, over the weekend to bolster their semifinal drive at 2-1 with two play dates left in the short quarterfinal phase of the mid-season conference.
UP coach Jerry Yee said they might do away with their usual practice to conserve his wards’ energy and strength given their grueling quarters schedule where they, like the Lady Eagles, are slated to play three straight tough games.
“We don’t know if we’re still going to have to practice but definitely we’ll have a meeting,” said Yee after his wards toppled the Lady Eagles to move up to third behind the Lady Bulldogs and the Far Eastern University Lady Tams, who tote identical 3-1 cards.
Game time is at 4 p.m. with the Lady Maroons facing a well-rested Lady Bulldogs, who nipped the Lady Tams in five on Wednesday. UP will next play San Sebastian at the close of the quarterfinal phase on Wednesday.
Like in their past outings, Yee will pin his hopes on the vastly-improving Isa Molde, Katherine Bersola, Marian Buitre, Diana Carlos, Justine Dorog and Nicole Tiamzon as they try to hurdle the fancied Lady Bulldogs led by the 6’4 Jaja Santiago, the leading spiker and No. 2 blocker in the league.
But the Lady Maroons will also have to neutralize the likes of Aiko Urdas, Risa Sato, Jorelle Singh, Roma Doromal and Kathryn Paran with the league’s leading setter Jasmine Nabor expected to step up for the Lady Bulldogs.
Like UP, Ateneo is set to play three straight games, including its crucial duel with University of Santo Tomas at 6 tonight.
Though the Tigresses are out of the race with a 0-4 slate, the Lady Eagles must still bring their A-game to clinch the win and stay in the semifinal race.