Standings W L
*DLSU 12 1
*NU 9 3
*UST 9 3
*AdU 9 4
FEU 6 7
Ateneo 4 9
UP 1 11
UE 0 12
*NU 12 0
*UST 10 2
FEU 7 6
DLSU 7 6
Ateneo 7 6
UE 4 8
AdU 2 11
UP 1 11
(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
9 a.m. – UST vs NU (Men)
11 a.m. – UST vs NU (Women)
3 p.m. – UP vs UE (Women)
5 p.m. – UP vs UE (Men)
MANILA — Locked in a two-way logjam at the second spot, the University of Santo Tomas and National University tangle today (Wednesday) in a crucial match that would give the winner a better shot at gaining the second twice-to-beat slot in the University Athletic Association (UAAP) women’s volleyball Final Four round.
That much-anticipated showdown is slated at 11 a.m. today at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Currently, the UST Tigresses and the Lady Bulldogs are locked in a double logjam at the second spot holding identical 9-3 win-loss slates.
A win by either team will give it a 10-3 win-loss card, almost assured of the second spot all by itself needing but a win in its 14th and last eliminations outing to officially claim the second twice-to-beat edge in the Final Four.
A slight psychological edge points in the direction of the Tigresses who upended the Lady Bulldogs in the previous encounter.
It could be remembered that the España-based squad was the one who snapped the defending champions’ glorious 20-match winning run when they met in the first round last March 4.
But it could also be that the Lady Bulldogs are out to avenge that setback and grab the second spot by itself and are almost there at gaining the twice-to-beat edge.
Whatever, it appears now that both teams are just as determined to roll the dice, play their best and bring out the best weaponry in store in their arsenal.
“Parehas kami ni National University na gustong manalo of course,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes.
“Nandito na kami sa Top 4 pero may ranking pang tinatawag. So si NU at si UST, kung sinong manalo doon mataas ang percentage na kumuha ng no 2 spot sa Final 4.”
“Yun naman ang ine-aim namin. Nandito na kami sa Top 4, we aim higher.”
The Tigresses and the Lady Bulldogs are currently level at 9-3, with the winner gaining solo second and are assured of a playoff for the remaining twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four.
Idle Adamson, which has a 9-4 slate, is still very much in contention for the No. 2 slot as it will tie the loser of the UST-NU match in the third and fourth spots.
Eya Laure, the league-leading scorer with 223 points, is hoping that the Tigresses’ high morale will help them against the Lady Bulldogs.
UST has won its last four matches, highlighted by its streak-busting five-set win over La Salle last April 2.
“Yung kumpiyansa na meron kami ngayon, kung sinumang tumapak sa court gagalaw at magtatrabaho. Yun ang pinakaimportante once the kung sinong nilista ni coach sa papel nandoon ka na, kailangan prepared ka,” Laure said.
Reigning MVP Mhicaela Belen said all of NU’s remaining elimination round matches will be crucial in the team’s final ranking in the standings, as it tries to avoid getting at the lower half of the Final Four.
“Importante po yung remaining games namin kasi doon makikita kung saan kami sa apat. Balik lang kami sa training, paghahandaan lang po namin yung next games namin,” said Belen, the league’s No. 5 scorer.
The hard work and willingness to learn were also the key for the Lady Bulldogs to recover from the back-to-back losses to the Lady Spikers and put up their own four-match winning streak.
“Nagsa-start yan sa training. Kung gaano ka ka-consistent sa training, lalabas yun sa game,” said Solomon, who forms NU’s 1-2 punch with Belen. “Basta yung pagiging consistent is permanent.”
Also-rans University of the Philippines and the University of the East collide in the other women’s match at 3 p.m.
In the men’s division, the three-peat-seeking Bulldogs seek to move closer to securing an outright Finals berth against the Golden Spikers at 9 a.m., while the Fighting Maroons and the Red Warriors clash in a no-bearing encounter at 5 p.m.