ATENEO and National University brace for a highly-charged duel Monday as they clash for the No. 1 spot in the Final Four in the Spikers’ Turf Season 1-Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Bulldogs thwarted the La Salle Archers, 27-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18, last Wednesday to match the Eagles’ 6-0 record with the Bustillos-based school hoping to sustain their form when they slug it out with the reigning UAAP champions in the 3 p.m. main game.
The top team will battle the No. 4 squad in the crossover semis with the Nos. 2 and 3 teams fighting it out for the other finals berth in the tournament presented by PLDT Home Ultera.
La Salle’s loss also paved the way for a three-way tie for third with Emilio Aguinaldo College and National College of Business and Arts also toting 3-3 cards heading to the all-important La Salle-EAC match at the close of the quarters on Wednesday.
NCBA has a lighter assignment in ousted University of the Philippines.
But focus will surely be on the Ateneo-NU faceoff with the Eagles, a duel of the league’s top spiking teams.
While Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro boasts of hitters in Marck Espejo, Ysrael Marasigan, Rex Intal and John Rivera, the Bulldogs also have a combo of spikers in Bryan Bagunas, Madzlan Gampong, Fauzi Ismail, Francis Saura and Kim Malabunga, ensuring a power-packed clash for the solo lead and the psychological edge in case they still meet in the finals.
FEU and St. Benilde, with identical 1-5 cards, close out their campaign at 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, NCBA-St. Benilde match last Wednesday will be shown on PTV 4 starting at 3:30 p.m. today while the NU-La Salle clash will be telecast tomorrow, according to the organizing Sports Vision. Games are aired on a delayed basis from Monday to Friday while Saturday telecast begins at 9:15 p.m.