Full-strength La Salle Lady Spikers pose first acid test for vastly improved UP side
Ara Galang's return has reinvigorated the Lady Spikers. Dante Peralta

LA Salle, UP, and Adamson gun for a share of the early lead on Friday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball  tournament at the Philsports Arena.

The Lady Maroons are hoping to hurdle its first acid test against the Lady Spikers while the Lady Falcons go for their second win in as many games against National University.

With veterans Nicole Tiamzon, Kathy Bersola and Marian Buitre and a bunch of highly-touted rookies in Isa Molde, Justine Dorog and Diana Carlos, hopes are high for the Lady Maroons to make it to the Final Four this season.

And they impressed in their season debut last Sunday, defeating a vastly-improved University of the East side, 25-20, 25-13, 25-21.

Facing one of the league's powerhouses in the Lady Spikers, UP coach Jerry Yee stressed the need for his first-year players to polish their game if the Diliman-based spikers want to pull off an upset.       

“Against La Salle, hindi puwede kaming maraming service errors and we have to execute well,” said Yee.

Meanwhile, La Salle was back to its dominant ways with the return of former MVP Ara Galang, opening the season with a 29-27, 25-23, 25-20 victory over Far Eastern University last Wednesday.

Aside from Galang, who had 10 points and five digs in her first game back after being sidelined for almost a year due to injuries, Mika Reyes, Carol Cerveza, Majoy Baron, Christine Soyud and rookie May Luna shone for the Lady Spikers.

Still, La Salle isn't looking to coast the rest of the way, saying several facets of the team's game need improvement.

“We have to lessen our errors,” said La Salle assistant coach Benson Bocboc.

The Lady Falcons opened their campaign with a narrow 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 28-30, 16-14 win over University of Santo Tomas last Wednesday, while the Lady Bulldogs hope to rebound from a 21-25, 19-25, 14-25 loss to defending champion Ateneo in the opener.

In the men's side, titleholder Ateneo and FEU dispute the solo lead at 10 a.m., right after the 8 a.m. clash between Adamson and UE.

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