University of the Phi-lippines hopes to sustain its surge as it faces defending champion National Uni-versity today, gunning for a victory and a berth in the Final Four of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The Lady Maroons re-pulsed the Ateneo Lady Eagles, 25-18, 14-25, 25-20, 25-18, over the week-end to bolster their semis drive at 2-1 with two playdates left in the short quarterfinal phase of the mid-season conference of the league where it all started.
After disposing off their fellow Katipunan-based school, UP coach Jerry Yee said they might do away with their usual practice to conserve his wards’ energy and strength given their grueling quar-ters schedule where they, like the Lady Eagles, are slated to play three straight tough games.
“We don’t know if we’re still going to have to practice but definitely we’ll have a meeting,” said Yee after his wards toppled the Lady Eagles to move up to third behind the Lady Bulldogs and the Far Eas-tern U Lady Tams, who tote identical 3-1 cards.
Gametime is at 4 p.m. with the Lady Maroons facing a well-rested Lady Bulldogs, who nipped the Lady Tams in five last Wednesday. UP will next play San Sebastian at the close of the quarters phase of the tournament spon-sored by Shakey’s on Wednesday.
Like in their past outings, Yee will pin his hopes on the vastly-im-proving Isa Molde, Kathe-rine Bersola, Marian Buitre, Diana Carlos, Justine Dorog and Nicole Tiamzon as they try to hurdle the fancied Lady Bulldogs led by the 6-4 Jaja Santiago, the leading spiker and No. 2 blocker in the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.
But the Lady Maroons will also have to neutralize the likes of Aiko Urdas, Risa Sato, Jorelle Singh, Roma Doromal and Kathryn Paran with the league’s leading setter Jasmine Nabor expected to step up for the Lady Bull-dogs.
Like UP, Ateneo is set to play three straight games, including its crucial duel with University of Santo Tomas at 6 tonight.
Though the Tigresses are out of the race with a 0-4 slate, the Lady Eagles must still bring their A-game to clinch the win and stay in the semifinal race.
Both matches will be aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23 and via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
With a 1-2 card, the Lady Eagles are hard-pressed to sweep their last two games, including against the Lady Tams on Wednesday to force a playoff for the last Final Four slot.
Meanwhile, Ateneo goes for a sweep of Group B as it battles UP in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference at 12 noon to be aired via streaming. Winless Philippine Merchant Marine School and St. Benilde clash in a non-bearing game at 10 a.m.
The Eagles clinched the first semis slot with a sweep of their first four games while the Maroons, tied with UST Tigers at second at 3-1, hope to boost their own bid.