THE history-making season of the UAAP volleyball tournament breaks new ground again this weekend when it holds the start of the semifinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Two weeks after setting all-time attendance and TV ratings records for a volleyball game at the Mall of Asia Arena, the UAAP tournament is once again expected to attract a large crowd when it takes its act to the acknowledged mecca of Philippine sports.
It will mark the first time the Araneta Coliseum will host volleyball matches in its long history.
To be played at the Big Dome are the women's semifinal matches pitting top seed De La Salle against either National University or University of Santo Tomas at 2 p.m. and second seed Ateneo against Adamson at 3:30 p.m. The top two seeds enjoy twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.
In the men’s side, No. 1 NU faces Adamson at 8 a.m. to be followed by match pitting second-ranked FEU against De La Salle at 9:30 a.m.
Tickets for the men’s and women’s games at the Araneta Coliseum will be sold separately.
The games were originally set to be played at the MOA Arena, where on February 9 a a double-header pitting Ateneo against La Salle and UST against NU drew a crowd of 19,638 fans - hands down the biggest to watch a volleyball game in the country.
Estimates also showed the matches, covered live by Studio 23, got higher television ratings than the celebrated Ateneo vs. La Salle basketball face-offs.
The Big Dome is also slated to host Game One of the best-of-three finals on March 2 before the tournament returns to the MOA Arena for Game Two.