University of Santo Tomas shoots for the solo lead in Group B as it takes on NCAA champion Saint Benilde today even as San Sebastian faces Ateneo in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Powered by the Laure sisters, EJ and Eya, the Tigresses clipped the San Beda Red Spikers, 27-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-18, last Wednesday to kick off their drive for a seventh championship in the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
The 17-year-old Eya made quite an impressive in her V-League debut, firing 17 hits to give UST another attacking threat side-by-side with the elder EJ, who led the Espana-based squad’s charge with 18 points.
“We want to expose her and let her feel how to play in big games early so that if her time comes to play for the seniors team, she will be ready,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes of Eya, a Grade 11 student tapped as a guest player.
Another high schooler, setter Ma. Agatha Mangulbnan, also made a big impact in her first game in the league, dishing out 29 excellent sets while chipping in three service aces.
The two rookies are expected to figure prominently against the Lady Blazers, who bowed to the Far Eastern U Lady Tams last week, in their 4 p.m. showdown.
Meanwhile, both San Sebastian and Ateneo aim to bounce back from their recent losses as they collide in the 6 p.m. main game of another explosive twinbill in the mid-season conference of the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.
Both matches will be aired live over ABS CBN Sports + Action Channel 17 and 23 and via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
The Lady Stags fell to the National U Lady Bulldogs, 22-25, 27-29, 21-25, to drop to 1-1 while a young, depleted Ateneo side absorbed a heartbreaking 24-26, 25-14, 21-25, 25-18, 12-15 defeat to unfancied Technological Institute of the Philippines.
The Lady Eagles played without Jhoanna Maraguinot and Bea de Leon due to a pulled stomach muscle and back injury, respectively, while former ace Alyssa Valdez opted not to suit up as guest player and instead joined the bench as one of the assistant coaches.
In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference, defending champion Ateneo shoots for the No. 1 spot in Group B as it faces Emilio Aguinaldo at 12 noon which can be viewed live via streaming.
Led by reigning MVP Marck Espejo and Russian-American rookie Tony Hoyfman, the Eagles overpowered the San Beda Lions, 25-19, 25-23, 25-16, to put in motion their back-to-back title bid.
La Salle and Perpetual likewise seek the top spot in Group A as they tangle at 10 a.m.