Defending champion De La Salle University shoots for the solo lead as it faces Adamson University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Lady Spikers are heavily favored against the winless Lady Falcons in their 2 p.m. match while National University (NU) battles Far Eastern University (FEU) at 4 p.m.
La Salle and Ateneo de Manila University are on top of the standings with 10-2 each while NU, University of Santo Tomas (UST) and University of the Philippines (UP) are in a three-way tie for No. 3 spot with 7-5 apiece.
FEU is currently No.6 with 6-6.
La Salle is fresh from a 25-23, 25-22, 25-21 win over UST – a win that gave the Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles the automatic twice-to-beat cards in the Final Four.
La Salle mentor Ramil De Jesus may rest her top scorer, Season 78 Finals Most Valuable Player Kim Dy who sprained her ankle in their last game leaving Mary Joy Baron, Aduke Ogunsanya, Desiree Cheng and Ernestine Tiamzon leading the attack line along with prolific setter Kim Fajardo and veteran libero Dawn Macandili.
The Lady Falcons must bring their A-games to post an upset win against the Lady Spikers.
On the other hand, NU and FEU are both seeking for important wins to fortify their Final Four bid.
The Lady Bulldogs are raring to bounce back from a 14-5, 27-25, 21-25, 12-25 loss to the Lady Maroons.
In that game, the 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago was limited to just 10 kills but expect the leading MVP candidate to retaliate along with power-hitting Jorelle Singh, Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas, Roma Doromal and playmaker Jasmine Nabor.
For its part, FEU scored a 25-14, 25-18, 27-25 win over UE to stay alive in the semis race behind the efforts of Bernadeth Pons, Remy Palma, Toni Basas and Jerilli Malabanan.
“It’s a big challenge for us. The pressure is there but it’s normal. We’re in a situation that we need to win our remaining games to make it to the Final Four,” said FEU head coach Shaq Delos Santos.
In the men’s division, reigning champion Ateneo (12-0) tries to move closer to clinching an outright finals berth as it takes on La Salle (4-8) at 10 a.m. after the FEU-UP match at 8 a.m.
EMIL C. NOGUERA