TWELVE women’s volleyball teams prepare for their respective school leagues as they see action in the first Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference starting on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Reigning NCAA titlist Arellano University and former UAAP champion Ateneo banner the cast that includes National University, which will be led by the players who helped power BaliPure to the PVL Open Conference title.
The field is divided into two brackets with the top four from each side after the single round robin elims clashing in the best-of-three crossover semifinals. Winners will dispute the crown in another best-of-three affair.
The Lady Eagles and the Lady Bulldogs head Group A that includes San Sebastian College, Lyceum of the Philippines U, Far Eastern U and Jose Rizal U.
Arellano banners Group B that also features University of the Philippines, Technological Institute of the Philippines, San Beda College, Adamson U and former NCAA champion St. Benilde.
Meanwhile, eight teams led by Ateneo and La Salle dispute the men's crown.
The Lady Bulldogs are among the favorites after victories in the last two V-League Collegiate Conference titles, they remain wary of the opposition with so many teams boasting of formidable rosters in preparation for the UAAP and NCAA wars, among others.
Lyceum, on the other hand, will see action in the commercial league organized by Sports Vision for the first time since joining the NCAA. The Lady Pirates last participated in a commercial league in 2011 in the eighth V-League’s first conference.
FEU will get a chance to test its new system under head coach George Pascua, who replaced Shaq delos Santos after the 79th UAAP season. The Lady Tams will also parade an almost intact lineup led by Jerrili Malabanan, who is coming off a championship run with BaliPure in the Open Conference, and veterans Bernadeth Pons and Toni Basas.
The Lady Chiefs, for their part, areusing the stint in the league backed by Mikasa and Asics as part of their buildup for their NCAA title-retention bid.