Far Eastern University (FEU) and University of the Philippines (UP) will be meeting in a crucial match today in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Tamaraws-Lady Maroons game is at 4 p.m. with the winner getting at least a playoff for the last Final Four slot. The loser will be out of the semis race.
FEU, UP and National University (NU) are in a three-way tie for the No. 4 spot with 7-6 each – they are behind solo third University of Santo Tomas (UST) with 8-5.
Defending champion De La Salle University and last year’s runner-up Ateneo de Manila University are already assured of Final Four slots and twice-to-beat incentives with identical 11-2 cards.
Branded as pre-tournament favorites, the Lady Tamaraws and Lady Maroons are both expected to go all-out to stay alive in the Final Four race.
FEU will be plunging into action with high morale following its 25-21, 25-21, 25-22 demolition of NU last Sunday.
Skipper Remy Palma, Bernadeth Pons and Toni Basas remain a formidable force but Jerilli Malabanan and playmakers Kyle Negrito and Gel Cayuna must also step up for the Lady Tamaraws.
On the other hand, UP is coming off a 20-25, 21-25, 16-25 loss to UST.
The Lady Maroons must identify issues that needed to be addressed including service receive and service errors and come up with unpredictable plays at the attack line.
UP will rely on graduating players Katherine Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon as well as Diana Carlos, Isa Molde, Marian Buitre and setter Ayel Estrañero.
In the first game, University of the East (1-12) hopes to duplicate its first-round win against Adamson University (0-13) at 2 p.m.
UE is banking on Shaya Adorador, Judith Abil, Jasmine Alcayde and Roselle Baliton to go up against Adamson’s top scorers Jema Galanza, Joy Dacoron and Bernadette Flora.
In the men’s division, UE faces La Salle at 8 a.m. while UP takes on Adamson at 10 a.m.