ATENEO faces an also-ran National University side as it guns for a quarterfinal sweep and enhance its semifinals bid in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Thursday.
The Lady Eagles and Lady Bulldogs clash at 4 p.m. shortly after the duel between PLDT and Cagayan Valley at 2 p.m., with the Power Attackers hoping to join Philippine Army in the semis with a win over the skidding Lady Rising Suns.
But Ateneo star players Alyssa Valdez and Amy Ahomiro are doubtful for the game due to academic reasons.
“May exam kasi kami eh, sa umaga naman may thesis ako,” said Valdez.
But the UAAP MVP, who has been doing the damage for the Lady Eagles in their four-game romp so far, expects her teammates to step up in her and Ahomiro's asbsence.
“Kaya nila 'yan,” she said. “Lahat sila expected ko mag-step-up kasi everyday naman kami nag-pe-prepare para sa game.”
The Lady Eagles have not lost a game in the six-team quarterfinals and carry a 4-5 record for solo fifth spot.
However, they remain one game behind fourth-running Lady Rising Suns (4-4), who still have two games to play against the Power Attackers (5-3) and Air Force (5-4).
In the probable absence of Valdez and Ahomiro, the Lady Eagles are expected to lean on Michelle Morente, who came away with 17 points, including 10 of the team’s 16 service aces, in Ateneo’s 25-19, 19-25, 21-25, 25-21, 16-14 win over Philippine Army on Tuesday.
Already out of semifinal contention with a 2-7 card, the Lady Bulldogs try to play the spoiler’s role against the Lady Eagles as they rely anew on stalwarts Jaja Santiago, Myla Pablo, and Rizza Mandapat.
Aiza Maizo and Wenneth Eulalio are tasked to lead Cagayan Valley against PLDT counterparts Sue Roces, Sasa Devanadera, and Gretchel Soltones.