The Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference semifinal race reaches its highpoint today with San Sebastian College and University of the Philippines colliding for the third Final Four berth and Ateneo shooting for the last seat against semifinalist Far Eastern U at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The Lady Stags and the Lady Maroons dropped their last matches to fall into a tie with the Lady Eagles at third at 2-2 with the first two teams knocking each other out in the 4 p.m. opener of an explosive twinbill wrapping up the cutthroat quarterfinal phase of the mid-season conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
But Ateneo, which swept ousted University of Santo Tomas last Monday to keep its backdoor bid alive, will also have a tougher opponent in FEU which is also expected to go all-out for the momentum needed in the Final Four.
The Lady Eagles and the Lady Tams collide at 6 p.m. with both matches to be shown live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23 and via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
Defending champion National U and FEU took the first two semis slots with 4-1 and 3-1 slates, respectively, leaving SSC, UP and Ateneo to dispute the last two berths in the tournament backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.
Grethcel Soltones hopes to step up as she tries to lead the Lady Stags to the next round although the reigning Open Conference MVP will need to draw solid backup from the likes of Katherine Villegas, Denice Lim, Joyce Sta. Rita, Alyssa Eroa and setter Vira Guillema to get their bid going.
But the young UP squad is also seeking a strong rebound from its four-set loss to NU last Monday with coach Jerry Yee upbeat of their chances to advance behind Diana Carlos, Justine Dorog, Isa Molde, Katherine Bersola, Marian Buitre and playmaker Mae Basarte.
Ateneo is also hard-pressed to pound the win against a solid FEU side with skipper Michelle Morente vowing to dish out their best to surprise their more experienced rivals.
“We will definitely go for it,” said Morente after scoring 10 hits to back up Ana Gopico and Kim Gequillana’s combined 26-point output against UST.
An Ateneo loss will send the Lady Eagles to a playoff against the loser of the SSC-UP duel for the last semis seat to be played Saturday, also at Philsports.
Meanwhile, FEU and La Salle also clash today for the other semifinal seat in Group A of the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference. Tied at 3-1, the Tams and the Archers face off at 10 a.m. with the winner joining NU (4-1) in the next round.
Defending champion Ateneo swept Group B to advance with UST (3-1) seeking to notch the other semis seat against ousted Emilio Aguinaldo College at 12 noon, also today.
A UST loss will send the Tigers to a knockout against the UP Maroons, who closed out with a 3-2 mark.