WITH the Shakey’s V-League title series tied at one game apiece, the third and deciding match between Ateneo and National University is just too close to call.
“It’s hard to predict. But it’s the championship match so it will be close,” said Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb during Tuesday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“Pukpukan na ito,” Gorayeb added as three of his players, Alyssa Valdez, Fille Cainglet and Jem Ferrer, sat next to him, all looking forward to Sunday’s winner-take-all match.
The Lady Eagles took Game One before the Lady Bulldogs bounced back last Sunday to tie the series. Both matches were decided in straight sets.
Also gracing the forum presented by Shakey’s and Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp. were NU coach Edjet Mabbayad who were joined by players Jen Reyes, Maila Pablo and Aiko Urdas.
V-League commissioner Tony Liao was also present.
Like their counterparts from Ateneo, the members of the taller NU squad said the last game of the conference is anybody’s ballgame.
“This is the last game. There is no Game Four,” said Mabbayad, who didn’t give up on his players after they were swept in Game One at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I just told them to stay focused and not get pressured and intimidated,” he said.
The deciding match will be played at Philsports Arena in Pasig City on Sunday at 3 p.m. It will be aired live on GMA News TV Channel 11.
“Both teams will give their best on Sunday. All the players will give their best,” added the NU coach, who will continue to rely on Santiago sisters Dindin and Jaja..
The Santiagos are two of the tallest players in the league with Dindin standing 6’2” and Jaja at 6’4”.
Cainglet and Ferrer and three others are on their last year of playing for Ateneo. They said there’s nothing sweeter than going out as champions.
“It’s all-or-nothing. This is the third game. Every team wants to win and that’s always the goal. This is our last year so it will mean a lot if we win,” said Cainglet.
Gorayeb said: “It will either be a very close three sets or a very close five sets. This is the championship.”