DEFENDING champion National University and darkhorse University of Santo Tomas clash in a potentially explosive encounter when Game One of their best-of-three semifinals series in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference is played Sunday.
Game time is at 4 p.m. at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Bulldogs finished on top of Group II at the end of the quarterfinals to arrange the highly-anticipated showdown with the Tigresses, who finished No. 2 in Group 1, in the crossover Final Four.
The towering Santiago siblings, Dindin and Jaja Santiago, are again expected to be at the forefront of NU’s bid for back-to-back titlse, with major help coming from the likes of Aiko Urdas, Myla Pablo, and guest players libero Jen Reyes and veteran setter Rubie de Leon.
Incidentally, Dindin and Jaja Santiago are both products of the UST girls volleyball team.
The six-time champion Tigresses, meanwhile, will be leaning on Pam Lastimosa, Mela Tunay, and rookie star EJ Laure as they hope to bounce back after losing to Adamson at the end of the quarterfinals.
NU beat UST in their head-to-head match-up during the eliminations, 25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 24-26, 15-10.
Meanwhile, the Lady Falcons hope to carry the momentum of their big win over the Tigresses when they start their own best-of-three semis series against Far Eastern University.
The huge win over UST allowed Adamson to grab the top seeding in Group 1, making the San Marcelino-based school the fancied team over the Lady Tamaraws in their 2 p.m. encounter.
Thai reinforcement Pacharee Sangmuang, who unloaded 27 points against the Tigresses, is again expected to take the lead for the Lady Falcons together with Bhebs Pineda, Mylene Paat, and guest player Pau Soriano.
But the Lady Tams have been a revelation of late especially with the entry of national team members and guest players Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga.