11 a.m. – UST vs NCBA (Spikers’ Turf)
1 p.m. – NU vs FEU (Spikers’ Turf)
4 p.m. – CSB vs FEU (V-League)
6 p.m. – ADMU vs TIP (V-League)
IN what could be a preview of post-Alyssa Valdez era in the UAAP, the ability of the holdovers to uphold coach Tai Bundit’s “heartstrong” mantra will be put into test as Ateneo plays Technological Institute of the Philippines today in the resumption of the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena.
Jho Maraguinot, said to be Valdez’s heir apparent, will lead the Lady Eagles in their 6 p.m. clash with the Lady Engineers.
Reigning NCAA champion College of Saint Benilde collides with Far Eastern University in the curtain raiser at 4 p.m.
After yielding the UAAP crown to La Salle last summer, Ateneo begins its quest for redemption without Valdez, the country’s most popular volleyball player.
With some prior commitments, which include weekends-only skill camps and exhibition games abroad, the ever-busy Valdez will not be around, but the two-time UAAP champion believes that the Lady Eagles remain in good hands with Maraguinot spearheading the attack.
Maraguinot will also get a lot of help from returning hitters Michelle Morente and Ana Gopico, as well as holdovers Bea de Leon and Kim Gequillana, with playmaker Jia Morado doing the setting chores for Ateneo.
Now on its second stint in the V-League, TIP will have Adamson standout Mylene Paat and veteran setter Chie Saet as its guest players, while Sheeka Espinosa and Alyssa Layug, formerly of University of the Philippines, will lead the way.
Bannered by ace middle blocker Jeanette Panaga and rising stars Ranya Musa and Melanie Torres, the Lady Blazers hope to make an impact in the mid-season conference as part of their build-up for the NCAA.
The Lady Tamaraws, who lost to the Lady Spikers in the UAAP Final Four last April, have a loaded roster as they bid to regain the Collegiate Conference crown the Morayta-based squad won two years ago.
Bernadeth Pons, Remy Palma, Toni Rose Basas, Heather Guino-o and Kyla Atienza will be the vital cogs for FEU, which also has national U-19 standout Nette Villareal and former University of the East captain Ced Domingo.