Ateneo, UST in crucial battle in last day of elims
ADU Lady Falcons (8-5) vs UP Lady Maroons (2-11)
When they last met… Adamson made short work of University of the Philippines in their first round meeting, hacking out a 3-set win, 25-12, 25-19, 25-13 behind Shiela Pineda.
The high-flying Pineda uncorked 16 points to lead the Lady Falcons to the win. Team captain Pau Soriano and Mayette Zapanta chipped in 11 markers apiece to help in the Lady Falcons’ winning cause.
No Lady Maroon scored in double-digits, as Liezchel Tiu paced UP with a measly seven points.
Why this game is important…
For Adamson: If the Lady Falcons pull off a win today, they can tie Ateneo in the second spot but their fate still depends on the outcome of the Ateneo-UST match. A straight-sets win for Adamson and a straight-sets loss by the Lady Eagles would give hopes -- however faint they may be -- for the Lady Falcons to force a playoff for the second twice-to-beat spot.
For UP: With another woeful season in the horizon for the Lady Maroons, a win over Adamson will be their 3rd win -- and first outside UE. UP wants to play the spoiler role and save some pride as they look into Season 76.
For Adamson: Mayette Zapanta. With Soriano and Pineda on the firing end, Zapanta’s production will be a big plus for rookie coach Sherwin Meneses since she gives added offensive firepower outside the two and this year, she has been really splendid at that.
For UP: Princess Se. The lanky hitter’s game must click in Sunday’s game against Adamson. With former St Scholastica College’s standout Jaye Aliyah Ong slowly taking over as the top Maroon, Se, one of the veterans of this rookie-laden squad, must show up and deliver the goods for UP.
And the winner is… As the post-season looms, Adamson is playing great as of late albeit it lost its last game to National University. UP, on the other hand, just want to end its nightmarish season on a winning note. It’s a tall order to beat Adamson at this point in time of the season where it is bent on a championship run. Adamson in three sets.
ADMU Lady Eagles (9-4) vs UST Golden Tigresses (8-5)
When they last met… Ateneo De Manila University cruised to an easy, straight-set victory over University of Santo Tomas, 25-13, 25-16, 25-17, with Alyssa Valdez torching her alma mater with 16 points in an anticlimactic ending to what was expected to be a rough showdown.
Why this game is important…
For Ateneo: If the Lady Eagles win, coach Roger Gorayeb and his volleybelles lock up the #2 spot but what really makes Season 75 a season to remember is that, the fate of Ateneo, Adamson, UST and NU still depends on the results of Sunday’s twin bill.
For UST: The Lady Tigresses try to keep their Final Four hopes alive with a win over the Lady Eagles. Sunday’s game is oh-so-crucial that if UST loses, a playoff for the #4 spot against NU will be played.
For Ateneo: Jem Ferrer. Ferrer orchestrates Ateneo's offense and upon her depends whether the Lady Eagles will once again abuse UST's defense that has been wildly inconsistent this season. And with the Best Setter plum on the line, expect Ferrer to use her skills to the hilt against her inexperienced counterparts.
For UST: Maru Banaticla. Banaticla came out of her shell in their win over FEU the last time around and it paid dividends for the España-based spikers. If Banaticla erupts again in Sunday’s game, UST is poised for a win but Ateneo is really a tough team to beat.
And the winner is… It’s hard to halt a well-oiled Ateneo machine, especially coming off a sorry loss against archrival La Salle last week. The Lady Eagles will try to exact revenge on the Lady Tigresses as they gear up for the Final Four and a very possible rematch with La Salle in the finals. Ateneo in four sets.