University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo are two teams with something to prove going into today's do-or-die Game Three of the Shakey’s V-League First Conference.
The Tigresses skipped the league's last three conferences and, after failing to make the recent UAAP finals as well, are raring to prove that they are still a force to be reckoned with in Philippine volleyball.
The Lady Eagles, who reached the UAAP championship game only to bow to La Salle last season, want to prove that their title conquest in the UST-less V-League Season 8 was no fluke.
All those will be settled on Sunday with the third and final match between of what had been a fiercely fought series that has drawn huge crowds at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
UST drew first blood in the title series with a 16-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-23 victory before Ateneo evened things up with a 25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 28-26 win last Tuesday.
Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb rued that it is the little things that the Lady Eagles take for granted that are costing them in the series.
“Marami kaming errors na hindi naman dapat nangyari noong Game Two. Yung simpleng bola katulad ng mga drop balls na hindi namin nakukuha, nakakaapekto yun sa laro," he said.
UST, on the other hand, is hoping to get its act together after mental lapses cost them Game Two.
“’Yung pressure nakaapekto sa kanila. Ayaw nila magkamali kaya ayaw nila kumuha ng bola,” said Tigresses coach Odjie Mamon.
Judy Caballejo, Maru Banaticla, Maika Ortiz and Thai guest player Utaiwan Kaensing had their usual numbers in Game Two but Mamon rued the pedestrian play of their libero Dancel Dusaran.
Alyssa Valdez had a game-high 31 points in Game Two while also receiving support from Phee Nok Kesinee and substitute Ella De Jesus on the offensive end.