SURPRISING University of Santo Tomas seeks a third straight win against an shorthanded BaliPure side today in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena today.
The Tigresses, priming up for the UAAP wars, pulled off back-to-back victories despite playing with an all-local crew, and are also fancied to win in the 6 p.m. duel with the Water Defenders.
University of the Philippines plays Philippine Coast Guard in the curtain raiser at 4 p.m.
UST surprised everyone by beating Open Conference runner-up Air Force in last week’s inaugurals of the season-ending conference followed by sweep of the Lady Dolphins to join Bureau of Customs on top of the standings.
BaliPure, third placer in the Open Conference, is actually reinforced by two imports but setter Kaylee Manns and outside Katharine Morrell remain doubtful pending the release of their International Transfer Certificates.
The Water Defenders also lost Alyssa Valdez and Grethcel Soltones, who moved to other teams, as well as Janine Marciano, who jumped to another squad in a rival league.
But still, the Tigresses, the winningest in the country’s premier women’s volley with six championships, will have its hands full against the Water Defenders, remains solid despite the departure of its former ace for another team.
Now handled by Tai Bundit, BaliPure recently tapped Suzanne Roces to anchor their campaign with the former league MVP expecting to draw solid back from the likes of Amy Ahomiro, Bea Tan, Mae Tajima, Dzi Gervacio, Ella de Jesus, Jem Ferrer, Dennis Lazaro and its erstwhile playing coach Charo Soriano.
The Water Defenders will try their best to win even without their American reinforcements.
“We are very disappointed for experiencing problems with our American imports. We have learned the BaliPure’s account in the Volleyball Information System has been changed and has affected the status of our imports for our match against UST,” said BaliPure team manager Gil Cortez.
“We have complied with the necessary work permit and paid all the fees to facilitate this. That this is happening to several clubs is no coincidence”