ATENO and National University are looking to bag a fifth victory when they face separate opponents at the resumption of the 76th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan on Wednesday.
The two teams are tied for second place with identical 4-1 slates, just behind unbeaten top-seed La Salle (5-0).
But before their highly-anticipated face off with rival La Salle Lady Spikers on Sunday, the Lady Eagles will have to deal first with the slumping University of Santo Tomas in their 4 p.m. showdown.
The Katipunan-based spikers have not lost since dropping their opening game against National University.
A victory over the Tigresses will be a good morale booster for the Lady Eagles going to their showdown against the three-time defending champions Lady Spikers.
Alyssa Valdez remains the league leader in scoring and service aces, while A Ahomiro is so far the surprise factor for Ateneo.
Assistant coach Parley Tupaz will be calling the shots for the blue and white squad as Thai head coach Anusorn Bundit is still on vacation.
“We are taking it one game at a time. Kung saan ang kaya namin, gagawin namin,” said Tupaz.
Down at No. 6 with a 2-3 record, UST hopes Carmela Tunay would recover from a slump after averaging only six points in the team’s last two games against Adamson and NU, both of which the Lady Tigresses lost.
The Tigresses are again expected to rely on Pam Lastimosa and rookie Ria Meneses.
Meanwhile in the first game, the Lady Bulldogs are heavily favored to get past University of the Philippines, which had been on a losing streak of late after dropping its last five games.
But NU coach Edjet Mabbayad reminded his team there is no room for complacency.
“Kailangan pa naming mag-improve sa defense at receiving. Hindi puwedeng mag-relax, kahit sino ang kalaban, kailangang paghandaan,” he said.
“Malayo pa ang laban, mahaba ang season. Kailangang mag-double time,” Mabbayad added.