Four teams that survived the two-round eliminations—Adamson University, University of Santo Tomas, National University and University of the East—see action starting today when the Final Four of the UAAP Women’s Softball Championship unfurls at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Adamson’s title-defending and four-peat seeking Lady Falcons battle the Lady Bulldogs of UE at 9 a.m. and the Tigresses of UST collide with UE’s Lay Warriors at 11 o’clock
Both are in quest of a win each to decide this early who advance to the best-of-three gold medal playoff for the crown held by the San Marcelino-based sluggers the past seven years.
The Lady Falcons and the Tigresses both own a twice-to-beat semifinal incentives by virtue of their 1-2 finishes, respectively, eliminations, making them odd on picks to earn the two finals slots.
This, despite the fact that both could only split the two games they played in the qualifying phase of the tournament.
Adamson beat NU, 2-1, in the first round of eliminations held February 3, but lost the next time around, 6-9, only because it had already made it to the round of four and the Lady Falcons played mostly with their second unit.
Same with UST, which prevailed the first time it met UE, 2-1, on February 8 only to lose, 1-5, in the second round last March 1 also because the Tigresses had already qualified for the semis.
Coaches Ana Santiago of the Lady Falcons and Sandy Barredo of the Tigresses downplayed the chances of heir respective teams saying the semis are totally different games and that everybody is capable of beating anybody.
Mentors Edgar delos Reyes of the Lay Bulldogs and Edzel Bacarisas of the Lady Warriors simply said they will be trying their best to reverse the expected outcome admitting that their opponents are likely to contest anew the championship as what happened the past two years.
Lyca Basa, coach Santiago’s trusted pitcher, is expected to start for the Lady Falcons unless the coach opts to put up a surprise. The same goes for UST, which owns the league’s and the country’s no. 1 hurler in Mary Ann Antolihao.
The Lady Bulldogs look to no one but their top mound girl Mia Macapagal. And so with the Lady Warriors, who, most likely, will rely on the shoulder of portly Lovely Redaja to lean on.