DEFENDING champion La Salle shoots for a ninth straight championship appearance against University of Santo Tomas today in the UAAP women’s volleyball Final Four at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The twice-to-beat Lady Spikers hope to capitalize on their vast experience in the 4 p.m. match with the third-ranked Tigresses, who are back in the playoffs after a four-year absence.
“Doon na magsa-start ang totoong labanan. Doon pa lang, huwag nang magpapatalo,” said La Salle mentor Ramil de Jesus.
In the other Final Four pairing, top seed Ateneo seeks to close it out against No. 4 Far Eastern University at 4 p.m. tomorrow at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Victories by the Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles will force another championship duel between the two fiercest rivals in college sports on April 29.
Despite losing several key players led by Ara Galang and Mika Reyes to graduation, La Salle was able to defy the odds as it finished the eliminations in second spot with 11 wins and three defeats, two of which against Ateneo.
Making strides in coach Kungfu Reyes’ second set, UST was able to hurdle one of the most competitive seasons in league history, finishing third with a 9-5 card, getting past much favored teams University of the Philippines and National University.
“Next step na kami. Hindi lang kami magse-settle sa Final Four. Mangangarap na kami ng sobra-sobra. Io-overachieve na namin kung ano yung narating namin ngayon,” said Reyes.
“We came from sixth place last year, na-double namin yung paghihirap namin and this is our result for now.”
The Tigresses must able to overcome the Lady Spikers’ tremendous floor defense, where libero Dawn Macandili always make sure that the ball remains flying, as well as their old reliable blocking, with Majoy Baron doing the job.