Ateneo spikers go for first ever UAAP finals stint

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Games today (FilOil Flying V Arena)

10 a.m. – UST vs AdU (men semis)
2 p.m. – ADMU vs UST (women stepladder)

ATENEO tries to clinch its first-ever finals stint in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament when it plays a dangerous University of Santo Tomas side today in the stepladder semifinals at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

But the task won’t be easy for the Lady Eagles, who finished in second place in the double-round eliminations, as the third-ranked Tigresses have a lot of weapons on their disposal to live another day.

Armed with a ‘twice-to-beat’ advantage, Ateneo must beat UST in the 2 p.m. match to arrange a championship showdown with La Salle.

Defending champion Lady Archers have already advanced to the finals outright with a thrice-to-beat bonus after registering an immaculate 14-0 record in the elims.

For the Lady Eagles, who last won a major collegiate championship in 1976 while playing for the NCAA, this is their best chance to make it to the finals.

Ateneo seeks to rebound from a 25-18, 14-25, 25-21, 19-25, 7-15 loss to La Salle at the end of the eliminations last Sunday.

The Lady Eagles and the Tigresses have split their head-to-head this season.

“Mahirap kalaban ang UST, yung crowd kasi malaki ang factor dahil nabubuhayan sila (players).  We have to play our usual game,” said Ateneo setter Jem Ferrer.

MVP contender Fille Cainglet, Alyssa Valdez, Dzi Gervacio, Gretchen Ho and A Nacachi will be the forefront of the Lady Eagles’ offense, while libero Denden Lazaro is expected to step up as the team’s last line of defense.

The Tigresses will bank on Maru Banaticla, Maika Ortiz, Judy Caballejo, Pam Lastimosa, Rhea Dimaculangan, rookies Gi Reyes and Jamie Morado.

UST eliminated Far Eastern University, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, in the first stepladder semifinals match last Wednesday.

“We will cook up something for Ateneo.  I still have faith with my girls,” said Tigresses mentor Odjie Mamon.

Reigning four-time champion UST collide with third-ranked Adamson in the men’s semifinals at 10 a.m.

By finishing No. 2 in the eliminations, the Growling Tigers, who holds the ‘twice-to-beat’ bonus, need only to beat the Falcons to advance once more to the best-of-three finals.                        

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Ateneo spikers go for first ever UAAP finals stint (source)

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