AS La Salle goes for a hat-trick, Ateneo hopes to keep another golden opportunity from slipping away when the two arch-rivals clash in Game Two of the 75th UAAP women's volleyball finals.
The Lady Spikers clawed their way from two sets down to win the opening match of the best-of-three title series and a win on Wednesday at the MOA Arena will earn them a third straight crown.
On the other hand, the Lady Eagles hope to extend the series to a decider and get another shot at the title after a bridesmaid finish last season.
The match starts at 4 p.m.
Michelle Gumabao led the way, super-sub Cyd Demecillo delivered in the crucial stretch and Abi Maraño was the emotional leader in the five-set win and are expected to again help carry the Spikers to victory.
But La Salle will be determined to take charge early this time and prevent Ateneo from launching another quick start.
“Nahirapan kami sa first two sets, at challenge sa amin yun,” said Gumabao.
Maraño, last year’s MVP, said the mood is light and the vibe positive at the La Salle camp.
“Our team is having a positive aura right now. We are focused, and we will make sure that we are in good condition to play,” Maraño said.
Ateneo has not won the crown in the UAAP and the second-place finish in Season 74 was its best ever.
"Last year andon na pero nawala pa, ngayon wala nang chance (for the seniors). It's now or never na," said Fille Cainglet, Ateneo’s star from Bacolod.
"Mas gutom kami kasi di pa namin natitikman," she said.
The Lady Eagles looked set to take the opening match when they zoomed to a two-set lead, only to falter in the end, 25-20, 25-17, 22-25, 22-25, 6-15.
For team captain Dzi Gervacio, who came up with nine points, including three service aces, in Game One, the game isn't over until the “final set.”
“Parang isang game lang yan,” she said. “Matalo man sa set one, may set two (para bumawi) hanggang fifth set.”
Gretchen Ho, last year's team captain, also believes it will boil down to whoever wants it more.
"Depende sa desire mo kung ano ang ilalabas mo sa game mo," she said.
Ferrer agreed, "Basta kung sino yung may gusto manalo, sila mananalo."
In the opening game set at 2 p.m., National University tries to wrap up a first-ever men's title in Game Two against Far Eastern University.
Individual awards will be handed out in simple rites in between the two matches.