UAAP champion Ateneo and NCAA titlist Arellano banner the 12-team field in the PVL Collegiate Conference opening on Saturday at the Arena in San Juan.
Last year’s champion University of the Philippines is skipping the tournament.
The Lady Eagles play a tournament for the first time without stars Maddie Madayag, Kat Tolentino and Bea De Leon. Ateneo plays in Pool A with Adamson University and NCAA teams San Beda, San Sebastian, Letran and University of Perpetual Help.
Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro leans on holdovers Ponggay Gaston, Jaja Maraguinot, Dani Ravena, Jules Samonte and Vanie Gandler as well as prized rookie Faith Nisperos.
Regine Arocha and the Lady Chiefs play in Group B against University of Santo Tomas, back-to-back PVL collegiate silver medalist Far Eastern University, College of Saint Benilde, Lyceum of the Philippines, and Technological Institute of the Philippines.
Matches will be played on Saturdays before Open Conference matches.
FEU and St. Benilde plays on at 8 a.m., followed by Ateneo against Letran at 10 a.m., while San Beda and Adamson clash at 12 p.m.
The top two teams in each group advance to the crossover semifinals.