Defending champion De La Salle University will shoot for the first finals slot when it battles University of Santo Tomas (UST) today in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament Final Four at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Lady Spikers will face the Tigresses at 4 p.m. with the former holding a twice-to-beat card.
La Salle dominated UST in the eliminations, scoring a 25-23, 16-25, 25-14, 25-22 win in the first round and 25-23, 25-22, 25-21 victory in the second round.
Season 78 Finals Most Valuable Player Kim Dy will be leading the front line of the Lady Spikers along with middle hitters Majoy Baron and Aduke Ogunsanya, open spikers Tin Tiamzon and Desiree Cheng, setter Kim Dy and libero Kim Fajardo.
“The real battle begins [in the semifinals]. There’s no room for error. We need to win in all our next games,” said La Salle mentor Ramil de Jesus.
The Lady Spikers are No. 1 in blocking (2.33 per set), receiving (39.38 efficiency) and setting (12.15 per set), No. 2 in the service area (2.72 aces per set) and No. 3 in spiking (33.36 percentage).
The Tigresses are coming off a number of victories including a five-set win against National University to grab the No. 3 slot in the Final Four.
Outside spikers EJ Laure and Cherry Ann Rondina, who are in the Top 5 in scoring, will be going all-out for the Tigresses.
But middle blocker Ria Meneses, opposite spiker Dimdim Pacres and reserve quicker Chloe Cortez must also contribute as UST aims to force a rubber match.
“We’re already here in the Final Four. We’ll make the most out of it. We came from sixth place last year. We doubled our efforts and this is our result for now,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes.
UST is second in spiking with 33.76 accuracy rate, first in digging (15.88 per set) and No. 5 in serving (14.22 per set).
The winner in the La Salle-UST game will face the winner in the Ateneo-Far Eastern University match.
The semis game of twice-to-beat holder Lady Eagles and Lady Tamaraws is on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Game today (Araneta Coliseum)
4 p.m. – DLSU vs UST