San Sebastian College shoots for the solo lead as it clashes with defending champion National U today in what is tipped to be a slam-bang duel of two of the fancied teams in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Spearheaded by Open Conference and NCAA MVP Grethcel Soltones’ 20-point explosion, the Lady Stags downed the Perpetual Help Lady Altas, 27-25, 25-22, 25-22, in Saturday’s opener of the league sponsored by Shakey’s to seize the early lead in Group A.
Unheralded Technological Institute of the Philippines, a third placer in the NAASCU league, joined SSC at the helm after it pulled the rug from under an injury-hit Ateneo side, 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 18-25, 15-12, late Monday night in the second playdate of the mid-season conference of the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.
Soltones will have her hands full against the Lady Bulldogs, who beat the Lady Eagles to win this championship last year and are boasting of Jaja Santiago and an emerging setter in Jasmine Nabor.
“We all know NU is tough,” said the 20-year-old Soltones. “But we will go out there and give it our best and enjoy the game.”
Gametime is at 6 p.m. after the 4 p.m. clash between a debuting University of Santo Tomas and San Beda College. Both matches will be aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Channel 17 or 23 and via streaming on sports.abs-cbn.com, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference, powerhouse Ateneo launches it title-retention bid as it takes on San Beda at 12 noon while Perpetual Help battles newcomer Phl Merchant Marine School at 10 a.m. in a game that can be viewed live via streaming.
Interestingly, both SSC and NU are coached Roger Gorayeb, who has let his assistants, Clint Malazo of the Lady Stags and Edjet Mabayyad of the Lady Bulldogs take charge temporarily while he’s on vacation.
Unlike last year when it tapped Rubie de Leon and alumna Dindin Santiago-Manabat as guest players, NU decided to play with the same players it will field in the coming UAAP season set early next year.
Myla Pablo, the Finals MVP last year who recently powered Pocari Sweat to the Open Conference crown of the league where it all started, has also graduated, leaving Jorelle Singh, Aiko Urdas and Fil-Japanese rookie Raisa Sato as spearheads of the top UAAP squad.
“This is a young team and this conference will serve as a test for everyone,” said Mabayyad, who steered NU to the Open Conference title three years ago.
Meanwhile, the Tigresses, mentored by Kungfu Reyes, set out against the Red Spikers with a talented core led by sisters EJ and Eya Laure and the diminutive but talented Cherry Anne Rondina.
(Philsports Arena, Pasig)
10 a.m. – Perpetual vs
PMMS (S Turf)
12 noon – Ateneo vs
San Beda (S Turf)
4 p.m. – San Beda vs
6 p.m. – NU vs SSC-R