TITLE favorites National University and Ateneo de Manila, which managed to avoid being grouped together in the quarterfinals, resume their bids as the second phase of the V-league begins on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Eagles were placed in different groups in the first phase and remain separated as the tournament enters the quarterfinals, which is also a single-round group stage.
Ateneo topped its group and avoided NU, which placed second in the other group.
Group A topnotcher Ateneo is now grouped with Group B topnotcher UST, and No. 3 teams Adamson and Davao.
Group A second placer Arellano is now grouped with Group B second placer NU and No. 4 teams St. Benilde and FEU.
The Lady Bulldogs will clash with Arellano at 2p.m., while the Lady Eagles and Davao will collide at 4 p.m.
NU, which suffered a shock loss to the Davao selection in its final game in the elimination round, welcomes back UAAP Rookie of the Year Jaja Santiago, back from her stint with the Power Pinays in a tournament in Thailand.
Finding itself in a tough group, Ateneo does not want to look too far ahead and is taking it one game at a time.
“Katulad sa UAAP, we'll take one game at a time, kailangan 'yun eh, kaysa pag inisip mo na doon agad sa dulo mafu-frustrate ka kaagad sa middle of the conference," said Ateneo skipper Alyssa Valdez.
"Sine-set namin sa minds namin na underdog pa rin kami."
Rookies Mich Morente, Jia Morado, Kim Gequillana, and Bea de Leon and Jhoanna Maraginot, who are suiting up as guest players, will have to step up as the veterans including Valdez, Amy Ahomiro, Ella de Jesus and Aerieal Patnongon are using the summer to complete their internship.