UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas hopes to complete the semifinal cast with a match to spare and avoid any complications in the Final Four race as it takes on Far Eastern University on Wednesday in the 75th UAAP season women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
A win by the Tigresses (7-5) in the 3:30 p.m. match could secure their place in the semifinals behind league-leading La Salle (12-1), Ateneo (9-4) and Adamson (8-4) with one elimination-round match to spare.
An FEU (6-6) victory will force a tie for fourth spot with UST, while National University (6-6) could also create a logjam if it can turn back Adamson in the 2 p.m. match.
That would mean the semifinal cast will be determined on the final day of eliminations.
Aside from trying to secure their place in the semifinals, the Tigresses are also looking to avenge their first-round loss to FEU.
“Our last two games in the eliminations are FEU and Ateneo so ang immediate goal namin ay mabawian namin sila sa mga talo namin sa first round,” said UST coach Odjie Mamon.
“Babawi kami syempre,” added Tigresses skipper Judy Caballejo. “Dapat di mawala ang eagerness namin sa panalo kasi ayaw namin malaglag sa Final Four. Yung skills andoon na, kulang na lang yung puso sa loob ng court.”
Caballejo and fellow seniors Maika Ortiz and Maru Banaticla are expected take charge as sophomores Pam Lastimosa and Carmela Tunay provide the added boost for UST.
FEU will try to end its two-game skid after winning five consecutive matches under returning coach Kid Santos.
Meanwhile, Adamson will try to match the Lady Eagles record and boost its chances of claiming the twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinal round as they take on National University.
“Matibay din ang NU. Kapag hindi talaga nagsipag, baka matalo kami siyempre dahil malalaki sila. Mga breaks of the game ang talo nila, pero pipilitin namin dahil kailangang-kailangan namin ng panalo para sa twice-to-beat,” said Adamson coach Sherwin Meneses.
Adamson, which survived Far Eastern University on Sunday, 22-25, 25-17, 15-25, 25-18, 15-13, will again rely on the trio of Shiela Pineda, Mayeth Zapanta and team captain Pau Soriano.