THE Final Four cast is almost complete in UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament with De La Salle, Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas needing to win at least one of their remaining elimination games to join semifinals-bound Ateneo.
University of the Philippines is on the brink of elimination after a 21-25, 12-25, 24-26 loss to UST on Wednesday. The Lady Maroons still have a chance to force at least a playoff for No.4 but their fate is out of their hands anymore.
Here are the team standings of the remaining teams in Final Four hunt.
La Salle 8-3
* - F4 bound
The Final Four race heats up over the weekend with rivals Ateneo and La Salle colliding in their all-important Round 2 match on Saturday at Smart-Araneta Coliseum. The Lady Eagles try to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the semis, while the Lady Spikers seek to barge into the post-season.
On Sunday, at MOA Arena, joint third placers FEU and UST clash for a Final Four berth at 4 p.m., while UP fights for its dear life against also-ran National University (3-9). If the Lady Maroons lose in their 2 p.m. game, it will automatically complete the Final Four cast regardless of the FEU-UST result.
With five more play dates remaining including this pivotal weekend matches, SPIN.ph takes a look at the semis chances of the remaining teams.
Soaring high with 10 straight wins in 11 games for an assured Final four berth, Ateneo only needs to win its toughest test of the eliminations against first round tormentor La Salle to secure the twice-to-beat advantage.
If the Lady Eagles lose to the Lady Spikers, they still have two more games against ousted teams Adamson (1-10) and University of the East (2-9) on April 24 and 28, respectively, to claim the Final Four incentive.
La Salle tries to clinch the second semifinals berth by completing a season-sweep on Ateneo.
The Lady Spikers are also in control of claiming the second twice-to-beat advantage by sweeping their last three games including matches against the also-ran University of the East on April 24 and Finals rival FEU on April 28.
La Salle could squander its chance of having a twice-to-beat advantage if it loses two of their remaining games. Just a loss to the Lady Eagles could put the Lady Spikers in limbo as their best finish could be 10-4 and one from UST and FEU could tie or even overtake them at the No. 2 spot.
FEU and UST
FEU and UST clash for separation at joint third place and a Final Four berth. The winner also gets a chance to take the twice-to-beat advantage in case La Salle loses to Ateneo or at least one of its remaining three matches.
The Lady Tamaraws have the biggest chance to take a twice-to-beat advantage as they would face both the Tigresses and Lady Spikers and could send both teams to five losses, while the Morayta-based squad could finish with a 10-4 card and suddenly rise to second place.
FEU and La Salle could also figure in a tie at 10-4 that would result into a playoff for the No. 2 spot – if the Lady Tamaraws would beat the Tigresses and the Lady Spikers, while the defending champions would triumph over the Lady Eagles and Lady Warriors, paired with a loss to the Lady Tams.
If UST beats FEU and takes down NU on April 27, it will finish at 10-4, assuring the team of at least a third-place finish. The Tigresses could easily take second place if the Lady Spikers would lose at least two of their three remaining games.
Just like FEU’s scenario, UST could also end up tied with La Salle with 10-4 records. They will clash in a playoff for No. 2 if the Lady Spikers could win two of their remaining three games, while the Tigresses sweep their last two matches.
From emerging as pre-season favorite, UP is now on the brink of missing the Final Four for the third straight season.
The Lady Maroons have to sweep their last two games against the Lady Bulldogs on Saturday and Lady Falcons on April 27.
But here’s the catch: one from La Salle, FEU and UST has to lose all of its remaining games for UP to force a playoff for the No.4 spot with a team that would also finish with an 8-6 record.
If all three teams win at least one of their remaining games, UP bids goodbye even it finishes with an 8-6 slate.