LA Salle coach Ramil de Jesus is preparing for University of Santo Tomas in a No. 2 vs No. 3 semis showdown despite a slim chance of still taking the top spot in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Spikers can gain a share of the top spot if they win their final elimination-round match against Far Eastern University and league-leading Ateneo slips against also-ran University of the East (3-10).
Only La Salle has managed to beat Ateneo (11-2) this season. FEU (8-5), meanwhile, is locked at No. 4 ahead of the final elimination-round match against La Salle.
“Wala namang kasing chance pa na maka-akyat FEU sa No. 4, so talagang UST na,” De Jesus said.
“Just in case manalo kami sa Sunday or matalo kami sa Sunday, sila pa rin kalaban namin. Parang after ng game sa Sunday talagang sa kanila na kami naka focus,” De Jesus said.
La Salle is assured of a playoff for a twice-to-beat advantage with a 10-3 win-loss after its 25-17, 25-16, 25-19 victory over University of the East on Wednesday.
The Lady Spikers need to win over Far Eastern University to seal the twice-to-beat advantage.
La Salle will also earn the incentive if UST loses to National University on Saturday. A playoff for the No.2 spot could take place if the Lady Spikers and Tigresses tie at 10-4 record.
UST and La Salle split their elimination round head-to-head with the Tigresses shocking the Lady Spikers with a three-set win in the first round before the defending champions bounced back with a four-set conquest in the second round.
A La Salle-UST semifinal match will feature two of the top rookies, with Lady Spiker Jolina de la Cruz taking on friend Eya Laure.
“Excited po siyempre Final Four na po and excited na ako maglaro,” the soft-spoken Dela Cruz said.
With a chance to secure the twice-to-beat advantage outright, De Jesus is urging the Lady Spikers to play their best against FEU.
“Kung ano treatment sa ibang teams ganun din preparation namin, wala naman yung ‘Ay last ito no,’” De Jesus said. “Yung preparation namin iisa lang ready kaming lahat sa gagawin na kalaban and gagawa ng gameplan, ganun naman sa lahat.”
“Sa side namin napaka importante game sa Sunday para ma-seal second spot,” he added.