DEFENDING champion Far Eastern University and National University gun for a third straight win as they face separate foes in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Saturday.
The Group A leaders, both with similar 2-0 cards, tangle with winless Polytechnic University and reigning NCAA titlist Arellano University (1-1), respectively.
The Lady Tamaraws are favored against the Lady Radicals (0-2) in their 3:00 p.m. encounter.
Hard-hitting spiker Bernadeth Pons, who had 21 points in the team’s 25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 25-16, beating of Arellano last week, is again expected to take care of the scoring load for FEU along with guest player Jovelyn Gonzaga as the duo tries to fill in the void temporarily left by reinforcement Honey Royse Tubino.
Tubino, the former NCAA Most Valuable Player, will miss the match due to an out-of-town personal commitment.
But Lady Tamaraws coach Shaq delos Santos is confident the rest of the team will step up in Tubino’s absence.
“Kahit sino naman sa kanila ready to play,” said delos Santos.
Meanwhile, Jaja Santiago and the Lady Bulldogs are expected to have their hands full against a fiery Lady Chiefs side in their 12:45 p.m. match
The 6-foot-4 Santiago scored 23 points as she led the Lady Bulldogs to an easy, 25-16, 25-14, 25-19, win over provincial team University of Batangas.
The national team standout, who suited up for the national team in the Asian Under-23 and the Southeast Asian Games, scattered her points from 15 spikes, three blocks, and five service aces.
But Arellano is expected to give its unbeaten foe a run for its money as it tapped the services of former NU stalwart Mina Aganon to boost its solid core of Danna Henson, Menchie Tubiera, Cristine Rosario, and Shirley Salamagos.
In the third game, San Sebastian hopes to snap a two-game losing skid and make it to the win column as it battles Technological University of the Philippines (1-1) at 5:00 p.m.