Defending champion De La Salle University shoots for its 10th crown when it battles Ateneo de Manila University in Game 2 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 women’s volleyball best-of-three championship series today at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Lady Spikers-Lady Eagles match is at 4 p.m. after the awarding of honors at 3 p.m.
La Salle is leading the series 1-0 after posting a 21-25, 29-27, 25-22, 25-20 come-from-behind win in Game 1 last Tuesday.
This season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Mary Joy Baron is expected to bring her A-game to lead the Lady Spikers’ front line along with Season 78 Finals MVP Kim Kianna Dy, Ernestine Tiamzon and Desiree Cheng.
In Game 1, Tiamzon topscored for La Salle with 15 points while Dy contributed 14 markers, Cheng delivered 10 and Baron eight.
Best Setter and Best Server awardee Kim Fajardo, and Best Receiver Dawn Macandili will join forces in setting up good plays for La Salle attackers.
“We’ll be fighting as a team just like what we did in Game 1. I’m so proud of my teammates that we didn’t give up especially when we’re down. We just need to stay focused,” said Fajardo, who is looking to end her college career on a high note.
On the other hand, the Lady Eagles are raring to bounce back to force a rubber match.
Team captain Jia Morado stressed that the Lady Eagles remain in high spirits and still embracing its “heart strong” mantra.
“We’re still optimistic and that’s a good thing. We need to minimize our errors. We have to work hard to win in Game 2. Definitely, we’re not worried and we’ll bounce back,” said Morado.
Bea De Leon, Jhoana Maraguinot and Michelle Morente combined for 41 points in the series opener but middle hitter Ana Gopico and open spiker Kat Tolentino were nearly non-functional as they were limited to just three and two points, respectively.
In the men’s division, Ateneo guns for a three-peat as it faces National University in Game 2 of their own best-of-three finals series. The Blue Eagles took the Game 1 via a 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-13 decision.
Four-time MVP Marck Jesus Espejo, Ish Polvorosa, Joshua Villanueva, Rex Intal and Antony Koyfman of Ateneo will be going up against NU standouts Bryan Bagunas, Kim Malabunga and Fauzi Ismail.