(Filoil Flying V Centre)
8 a.m. – UST vs UE (Men)
10 a.m. – UP vs DLSU (Men)
2 p.m. – UST vs UE (Women)
4 p.m. – UP vs DLSU (Women)
UNIVERSITY of the Philippines faces its first acid test against defending champion La Salle today in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Maroons and the Lady Spikers clash at 4 p.m., with the winner taking a piece of the lead.
Also worth-watching is the 2 p.m. match-up between University of Santo Tomas and University of the East, with both teams eyeing to enter the win column after starting the season with two straight losses.
The Tigresses, despite their lofty pre-season billing, have struggled big time, while the Lady Warriors are sending a strong message that they are pushovers no more.
After posting straight- set wins against last year’s bottom-dwellers Adamson and UE, UP will finally get a major challenge from La Salle, which has been solid so far despite losing most of its key players to graduation.
Coach Ramil de Jesus is very much aware that the Lady Spikers need to play a higher level against the Lady Maroons, who lead in spiking and serving department.
“Maganda ang ipinapakita ng UP ngayon. Nakikita mong mas intact ang team nila at mas malalim ang bench nila,” said De Jesus.
Skipper Ayel Estra-ñero has been doing well in her new role as setter, while Nicole Tiamzon, Isa Molde, Diana Carlos, Marian Buitre and Kathy Bersola are capable of producing big numbers for the Lady Maroons, who will be a potent team once libero Pia Gaiser returns to action.
UP mentor Jerry Yee knows that La Salle, notwithstanding its early season struggles, remains solid as ever.
Kim Fajardo has been the glue that sticks the Lady Spikers together, while Kim Dy and Majoy Baron have proven their worth as the team’s new leaders.
“You should not forget the other aspects of the game nila, aside na meron silang beteranong setter. So kailangang paghandaan natin,” said Yee.