Unbeaten top seeds National U and Adamson try to move closer to a projected title clash as they take on separate rivals at the start of the Final Four of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan today.
The Lady Bulldogs and the Lady Falcons swept their respective groups in the single round elims and are hoping to sustain their charge against the Arellano Lady Chiefs and the Far Eastern U Lady Tams, respectively, for the big psychological edge in the short best-of-three series.
NU, which trounced Ateneo in four last Saturday to finish on top of Group A with a 5-0 card, collides with Arellano at 4 p.m. while Adamson, which survived San Beda in five last Monday to cap its domination of Group B, squares off with Far Eastern U at 6:30 p.m.
Both matches can be viewed live via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/pvl.
Ateneo, meanwhile, tries to keep its win run going in the men’s side of the season-ending tournament organized by Sports Vision as it clashes with UST at 8 a.m. while FEU and NU face off in the other semis pairing at 10 a.m.
The Eagles ripped the Tigers in three in their elims meeting with the former going all the way to sweep the elims, making them the favorites to repeat over the España-based squad behind Marck Espejo, Gian Glorioso and John Rivera.
The second seeded Tams, on the other hand, needed five sets to repulse the Bulldogs in the elims with the same tight finish expected in their second face-off.
But focus will be on the women’s side with the Lady Bulldogs bracing for a fierce showdown with the Lady Chiefs, the lone NCAA team out to stop the UAAP schools in the country’s premier league backed by Mikasa and Asics.
But against a team bannered by seasoned players Jaja Santiago, Aiko Urdas, Risa Sato and Jorelle Singh along with young ace playmaker Jasmine Nabor, the Lady Chiefs will have to draw solid games from Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha, Mary Anne Esguerra, Andrea Marzan and Necole Ebuen, along with the league’s top setter Rhea Ramirez to stop the Lady Bulldogs.
The Adamson-FEU duel is also tipped to go down-to-the-wire although the Lady Tams will be without top hitter Bernadeth Pons and libero Kyla Atienza, who are both priming up for the school’s campaign in the UAAP beach volley competition which begins tomorrow (Thursday).
But FEU remains formidable with Toni Rose Basas, Jerrili Malabanan, Jeanette Villareal and Heather Guino-o and setter Angelica Cayuna around although they will be facing off a solid Adamson crew led by veteran Christine Soyud, Mary Joy Dacoron, May Permentilla and Bernadette Flora along with playmaker Fenela Emnas.