ATENEO and Philippine Navy collide in a crucial match on Tuesday in the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
The Lady Eagles are seeking to clinch the last semifinals berth in the 4 p.m. encounter, although expect the Lady Troopers not to be gracious opponents as they themselves are still in the hunt for a spot in the Final Four.
A win by the 3-4 Eagles will mean an outright ticket to the Final Four, but a loss would still keep the Lady Troopers (1-6) in the hunt for a semis berth.
Navy actually needs to sweep all its remaining games, and hope that Ateneo loses two of its last three outings to forge a playoff for the remaining Final Four slot.
In the curtain raiser, Cagayan puts its winning streak on the line when it battles defending champion Philippine Army at 2 p.m.
The Rising Suns (5-2) beat Philippine Navy in straight sets on Sunday even in the absence of head coach Mike Rafael and stalwarts Norie Jane Diaz and April Anne Sartin.
But the Lady Troopers’ morale is currently on a high following their thrilling five-setter win over previously unbeaten Sandugo-San Sebastian also on Sunday. The victory allowed the reigning champions to forge a two-way tie for top with the Lady Stags at 6-1.
Philippine Army coach Rico de Guzman, however, is guarded against complacency by his team in the game featuring two of the league’s title contenders.
“Di kami puwedeng mag-kumpiyansa at di kami dapat mag-relax,” said de Guzman, whose charges will play without the services of former national team member Michelle Carolino, who suffered a sprain on her right ankle in the game against Sandugo.
In the night cap, Sandugo-San Sebastian tries to restore its shattered pride when it faces bottom team Far Eastern University (0-7) at 6 p.m.