The 2023 Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals commenced with a display of dominance as the UAAP champion, La Salle Lady Spikers and Enderun Colleges secured victories in straight sets in their respective opening matches at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
Despite missing UAAP Rookie-MVP Angel Canino and libero Justine Jazareno, the Lady Spikers proved their status as heavy title favorites by overpowering the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Lady Altas with a convincing 25-11, 25-17, 25-12 victory in Pool A.
The match lasted a mere 81 minutes, and Thea Gagate, named UAAP’s Best Middle Blocker, led the way for La Salle with an impressive 12 points, combining eight hits and four blocks. Amie Provido also contributed 12 points, while Alleiah Malaluan and Shevana Laput added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
In another noteworthy match, Enderun Colleges from Luzon emerged victorious in Pool D by defeating Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU) from General Santos City with a scoreline of 27-25, 25-22, 25-14. Althea Virnyce Botor and Erika Jin Deloria played pivotal roles, scoring 17 and 16 points, respectively, leading Enderun to an equally impressive win that lasted for 83 minutes.
The opening ceremony of the National Invitationals featured all 12 teams from NCR, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Led by ACES president Dr. Ian Laurel, Shakey’s general manager Jorge Concepcion, and CHED official Ana Dulce Yango, a simple parade introduced the participating teams.
Fans can catch all the SSL matches live and on-demand across various platforms, including Plus Network Digital Media Services, CNN Philippines, Solar Sports Entertainment, and TAP Sports, who are serving as media partners for the event.
The historic National Invitationals received support from various individuals and organizations, including Boy Tuikinhoy of Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc., Alex Adeva of Northern Mindanao Volleyball Association of Coaches and Referees, and the San Juan Red Cross chapter. Additionally, all Shakey’s branches nationwide are airing the matches live, allowing fans all over the country to be a part of this exciting sporting event. (ai/mnm)