AFTER a hard-fought playoff for the last Final Four berth, Adamson faces another do-or-die battle this time against Ateneo at the start of the stepladder semifinals of the 76th UAAP women's volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan on Saturday.
The Lady Falcons endured five sets of action in two hours and 20 minutes to dispose a hard-fighting Far Eastern University side, 25-17, 23-25, 23-25, 25-13, 15-11, and book a ticket to the next round.
Game time is at 4p.m.
Adamson coach Sherwin Meneses admitted Ateneo is a good blocking team, but he’s quite confident with the Lady Falcons’ floor defense.
“Mahirap kalaban ang Ateneo kasi blocking team sila, although super naman ang coverage namin (gaya ng pinakita namin sa FEU),” he said.
Bhebs Pineda, playing her final year in the league, is again expected to lead the Lady Falcons.
Ateneo skipper and team top scorer Alyssa Valdez said the Lady Eagles still have to improve on some aspects of their game, while at the same time, try to bank on rookies Mich Morente and Jia Morado to carry the load for the Katipunan-based school.
“Kailangan pa namin mag work on sa blocking and service namin,” said Valdez, currently the league's best server. “Maganda din ang pinapakita nina Mich and Jia, mabuti rin na nag-uusap usap kami sa team.”
With Valdez on board, Ateneo is a dangerous team, but Meneses would rather not think about a single player but the entire Ateneo squad.
“Ang galaw ng Ateneo (ang paghahandaan namin),” he said. “Team kasi sila, 'di porke may Valdez siya na lahat ang gagalaw. 'Yung Valdez andoon na talaga, pero 'yung buong team nila, silang lahat kaya sila malakas.”
Winner of the match will face second-seeded National University in a win-or-go-home match on Wednesday for the right to face three-time defending champion La Salle in the Finals.