UAAP 2nd round: Ateneo targets strong start
MANILA, Philippines – League No. 1 Ateneo Lady Eagles get tested immediately at the start of their second-round campaign in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament.
The Lady Eagles target an elimination-round sweep of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses, while the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs aim to do the same versus University of the East.
Behind Bea de Leon and Kat Tolentino, the Lady Eagles hope to to stretch their winning run to 7 on Wednesday, March 20, 4 pm at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Super rookie Eya Laure only managed to pick up momentum recently as she was able to post two 20-point outings and has risen to the league's second-best scorer behind teammate Sisi Rondina.
Both spikers have combined for a total of 239 points after the first half of eliminations.
But even if the Golden Tigresses have talented attackers at their disposal, they have to be able to get past Ateneo's disciplined frontline with its net defense, led by top blocker Maddie Madayag who makes 0.78 blocks per set.
While Tolentino continues to be one of Ateneo's consistent scorers, open spikers Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte have also been stepping up their end-to-end game.
Opening the second round at 2 pm are the NU Lady Bulldogs, who are looking to flash their winning attitude over cellar-dwellers UE Lady Warriors.
In the first round, the young and depleted NU squad – which is composed mostly of rookies from NU's champion high school squad – stunned the Lady Warriors for a straight-set win.
But the Lady Warriors are equally determined to end their own skid after tallying only one win over the Adamson Lady Falcons.
Star libero and UE captain Kath Arado feels the added pressure to give the Lady Warriors a better first ball and cover the team's floor defense, which has been the key to keeping the team alive during rallies.
With Arado's 59.01% efficiency in receptions, UE hopes to open up other spikers Me-an Mendrez and Zilfa Olarve who can support leading scorer Judith Abil. – Rappler.com