University of Santo Tomas and National U overpowered their respective rivals to arrange an all-NCR showdown for the Shakey’s Girls’ Volleyball League of Champions Season 14 at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig late Wednesday.
Behind Ejiya Laure and guest players Baby Barbon and Janne Torres, the Junior Tigresses ended the De La Salle-Lipa side’s drive for back-to-back championship, scoring a 25-21, 25-14 victory to clinch the first finals berth in the league sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by MyPhone, Asics and Mikasa.
The Lady Bullpups, on the other hand, stayed on course for redemption as they foiled the Central Philippine U spikers, 25-18, 25-16, in their side of the crossover semis in the event organized by Metro Sports.
NU lost a three-setter to DLS-Lipa in last year’s finale with the Bustillos-based school raring to atone for that setback on a team built around Faith Nisperos, Nicole Magsarile, Thea Gagate, Joyme Cagande and liberos Jennifer Nierva and Ferlyn Nomil.
NU actually got back at the Southern Luzon champion, 25-20, 25-21, in the elims final playdate to clinch the Pool A top seeding while UST stopped Kings’ Montessori Schoo, 25-19, 25-23, to top Pool B of the two-division finale that featured the top 10 teams from the various regional elims.
But they will have their hands full against the equally talented UST side, ensuring a fierce battle for the coveted crown in the league that has produced the current volleyball stars in the country and helped spark the sport’s renaissance 14 years ago.
UST and NU were disputing the crown at presstime with Philippine Sports Commission chair William Ramirez and PVF sec-gen Karl Chan gracing the finals.
Central Phil U and DLS-Lipa, meanwhile, were clashing for third place honors.