Twelve of the country’s leading colleges and universities, led by the reigning champions from the UAAP and NCAA, gear up for a two-month long duel of power, guts and styles in pursuit of the crown in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference firing off tomorrow (Saturday) at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Ateneo, which ended a four-year title spell with a sweep of UST in the UAAP finals last May, and Arellano U, which completed a three-peat in the NCAA last February by beating the very same team — Perpetual Help — to score a “slam” in the league five years ago, spearhead their respective sides in the two-group tournament set on weekends so as not to disrupt the ongoing Open Conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
Joining Ateneo in Pool A are Perpetual, Adamson, San Beda, San Sebastian and Letran while completing Pool B are College of St. Benilde, Lyceum of the Phl U, Technologica Institute of the Phl, UST and Far Eastern U.
National U, which swept FEU in the finals of the inaugurals in 2017, and last year’s surprise winner University of the Phl, have opted to skip the tournament.
But the depth of the field remains as talent-laden as ever with the Lady Eagles and the Lady Chiefs hoping to live up to the hype in an attempt to nail a second major championship this year.
The top two teams from each side after the single round robin prelims will advance to the crossover best-of-three semifinals with the winners disputing the crown in another best-of-three affair.
Focus will also be on the Lady Tams, who are itching to end a run of bridesmaid finishes. They launch their bid against the Lady Blazers at 8 a.m.
The Lady Eagles, on the other hand, face the Letran side at 10 a.m. while the Lady Red Lionesses take on the Lady Falcons at 12 noon in an explosive triple-bill.
The Lady Chiefs open their title drive on Sunday against the TIP side at 10 a.m. after the 8 a.m. match between the Tigresses and the Lady Pirates while the Lady Altas clash with the SSC spikers at 12 noon.