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    UST, Ateneo clash as UAAP volleyball stepladder gets going

    Jun 14, 2022
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    Faith Nisperos and the No. 4 Blue Eagles take on Eya Laure and the No. 3 Tigresses.
    PHOTO: UAAP

    THE long climb to meet National University for the cup begins on Tuesday as University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo start the stepladder semis of the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament.

    The Tigresses and the Blue Eagles collide at 6 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena for the right to progress in the competition.

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    The two teams split their elimination duels, with UST taking the 25-19, 25-21, 29-31, 33-31 win in the first round on May 19, while Ateneo got one back, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20, on May 31.

    Surely, this match is shaping up to be a close one and here are things to know ahead of the knockout battle.

    MANO-A-MANO: For one last time this season, the top two scorers in the league face off with Eya Laure and Faith Nisperos driven to lead their respective teams deeper in the playoffs. Laure has been the heart and soul of UST's offense, collecting a tournament-best 272 points, while Nisperos has gone supernova over her last few games, including a 22-point eruption in Ateneo's fourth place playoff against Adamson on Saturday. No doubt, UST and Ateneo can only go as far as Laure and Nisperos, respectively, can lead them.

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    SEARCH FOR SUPPORT: As explosive as Laure has been this season, the Tigresses have also been desperate to find a consistent support staff for her. That puts the onus on Imee Hernandez, Yssa Jimenez, KC Galdones, and even rookie Ypril Tapia to find their groove if the Espana spikers want to be the one to arrange a duel against No. 2 seed La Salle in the next phase.

    AC-PEASY: AC Miner has been a revelation for the past few games for the Blue Eagles as they survived two do-or-die matches. In Ateneo's knockout match against Adamson, the middle blocker was a big influence on the team's defense on the net as she had 16 markers from 12 spikes, two blocks, and two aces. If she can flex the same level of might, we might just be bound for a rivalry match between Ateneo and La Salle this Thursday.

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    Faith Nisperos and the No. 4 Blue Eagles take on Eya Laure and the No. 3 Tigresses.
    PHOTO: UAAP
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