ATENEO aims to get back on the winning track but faces a tough opponent in top seed PLDT at the start of the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 Open Conference at the Arena in San Juan on Sunday.
The Lady Eagles try to kick off the single round phase with a win after suffering three straight losses to end the eliminations against National University (18-25, 25-15, 24-26, 18-25), Army ( 22-25, 13-25, 30-28, 25-20, 14-16) and Cagayan (25-16, 16-25, 17-25, 27-25, 10-15).
Alyssa Valdez, who scored a total of 85 points in those three losses, is again tasked to lead the reigning UAAP champion in its 4 p.m. face-off with the Power Attackers.
The Katipunan-based school is currently at the bottom of the standings (0-2) after their two wins against eliminated teams University of the Philippines and Philippine National Police had been nullified owing to the league’s carry-over rule, where win-loss records against teams eliminated will not reflect in the quarterfinal standings.
Carrying a 4-1 slate, PLDT will rely on veterans Sue Roces, Lou Ann Latigay, Sasa Devanadera, and Charo Soriano.
Meanwhile, National University tangles with Philippine Air Force in the opening game at 2 p.m.
Lady Bulldogs mentor Ariel dela Cruz is aware his team will learn a lot in their match up against the Air Women, who finished runner up to Philippine Army in the recently concluded Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference.
“Veteran team sila, mas may experience sa laro kagagaling lang nila sa PSL, samantalang kami nagbi-build pa lang kami ng experience 'yung makalaban sila eh malaking bagay na 'yun para sa amin,” said dela Cruz.
UAAP rookie of the year Jaja Santiago, Rizza Mandapat, and Myla Pablo are expected to carry the cudgels for the Lady Bulldogs (1-4).
Air Force, which defeated the Lady Bulldogs in the first round, 25-21, 25-21, 25-22, will again bank on Joy Cases, Maika Ortiz, and Judy Ann Caballejo.
The Air Women carry a 2-3 card.