De Jesus says La Salle Lady Spikers on a mission to deny Ateneo a sweep of the elims
Ramil de Jesus says the Lady Spikers are motivated to deny Ateneo a sweep of the elims. Dante Peralta

COACH Ramil de Jesus is looking for La Salle to play the spoiler’s role in fierce rival Ateneo’s bid to complete a 14-game sweep of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.

De Jesus said doing so would not only be to the benefit of the Lady Spikers, but also to the other teams still in the running for the remaining Final Four berths.

A sweep of the eliminations by the Lady Eagles would give them an outright finals berth, leaving the next three teams to engage each other in a stepladder phase.

Ateneo and La Salle will face off on Wednesday for their last game of the elims at the Mall of Asia Arena, with the Lady Spikers out to deny their rivals an outright finals place and thrice-to-beat advantage.

“Mas maganda kung matatalo namin ang Ateneo,” said de Jesus. “Hindi ganoon kahirap ang pagdadaanan papuntang Finals.”

“And siguro kasama ko ‘yung ibang teams na nagdadasal na walang sweep,” kidded the soft spoken mentor.

[See La Salle rips Adamson for morale boost ahead of showdown with Ateneo]

Last year, La Salle swept the elimination round for an outright finals berth and an overwhelming thrice-to-beat advantage in the title series.

Seeded third, Ateneo went through the stepladder format, beating No. 4 Adamson then eliminating second-seed National University by defeating the Lady Bulldogs twice.

“Ang point kasi doon maiwasan ang maka-sweep,” he said.

“Three sets man ‘yan, four sets o five sets man ‘yan, ang importante manalo. Kasi lahat naman magbe-benifit sa panalong ‘yun. Kung hindi (namin sila matalo) isang team lang ang nagbe-benefit,” he added.

As of post time, only University of the East (13-0) has been eliminated from Final Four contention as five other teams still have a chance for the last two semis spot.

National University (6-6) is currently in third, followed by Adamson and University of the Philippines (5-7), University of Santo Tomas (5-8), and Far Eastern University (4-8).

NU, Adamson, UP, and FEU still have two more games left to play in the eliminations, while UST, Ateneo, and La Salle all have one match remaining.

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