Rappler Preview: FEU, Adamson in crucial volleyball tiff; UP, UE clash
UP Lady Maroons (1-11) vs UE Lady Warriors (0-12)
When they last met… In both team’s season opener, University of the Philippines started their campaign on a high note after trouncing University of the East in five sets, 25-18, 25-15, 19-25, 25-27, 15-6.
That game showed glimpses of a fighting Lady Maroons squad that can give headaches to contenders in a couple of years. The win over the moribund Lady Warriors also snapped a two-year, 16-game losing streak for UP, with Princess Se leading the charge with 14 points.
Why this game is important…
For UP: With their season already in tatters, UP tries to repeat over their first round preys and avoid finishing as cellar-dwellers once again. A win by UP over UE would hand them some bragging rights over UE as they look ahead to Season 76.
For UE: Still winless in 12 outings, the Lady Warriors seek that elusive first win and to salvage some measure of pride in yet again another woeful season mired by their inconsistent play, poor reception and lack of firepower that were evident on the Lady Warriors’ season.
For UP: Princess Se. With a rookie-laden squad like UP, Se can be the saving grace of this team looking for a win in its penultimate game of the season. And if the reed-thin spiker can erupt on Sunday, UP is in a good situation to repeat.
For UE: Faith Bulan. After a solid first few games, it has been anything but rosy for Bulan, who has seen a precipitous drop in her game, especially in the second round. And while a double-digit outing from Leuseht Dawis would be good, a 17-point explosion from Bulan would spell wonders for UE.
And the winner is… In a battle of also-ran teams, it all boils down on which team will play with a lot of heart, the desire to win and who will execute well since both are not in contention for a Final Four spot. UP’s deeper bench and more able scorers like Se, rookies Aliyah Ong, Katherine Bersola and Hannah Mangulabnan will be key in their game. UP in four sets.
ADU Lady Falcons (7-4) vs FEU Lady Tamaraws (6-5)
When they last met… Adamson University cruised past then-struggling Far Eastern University in straight sets, 25-18, 25-18, 25-14 in their first round meeting as Sheila Pineda fired 15 points while veteran belle Pau Soriano added 12 markers.
Why this game is important…
For Adamson: A win by the San Marcelino-based Lady Falcons will solidify their hold of the #3 spot in the Final Four and will create space from the #4 team as they try to avoid top-ranked La Salle in the Final Four.
For FEU: The Lady Tamaraws seek to avenge its first round setback at the hands of the Lady Falcons. More importantly, a win by FEU, who surprised volleyball pundits this season with their strong showing despite being under the radar before the start of the tournament, will forge a three-way tie in the #3 spot with Adamson and UST.
For Adamson: Mayette Zapanta. The deadly triumvirate of Soriano, Pineda and Zapanta gave opponents a nightmare this season and if Zapanta can continue to pile up the points, Adamson looks poised for a win.
For FEU: May Roxas. FEU is not just about Rose Vargas, Toni Basas and Wenneth Eulalio. With virtually their season on the line (with UST’s win over NU), Roxas must bring her best game if FEU wishes to have a chance of pulling off a win over Adamson.
And the winner is… Adamson, at this juncture, is looking good and are upbeat on their chances at a championship run, while FEU is trying to catch the Final Four bus. They may have surprised many people in the tournament but Adamson is just too much. The Lady Falcons have more proven scorers that will spell the difference. Adamson in four sets.