Ateneo, National University in marquee duel for semis top spot in Shakey's V-League
All eyes will be on star players Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago as Ateneo and National University dispute the top semis spot of the Shakey's V-League Season 12 Collegiate Conference. Jerome Ascano

ATENEO and National University finally come face-to-face in what could be a preview of the championship with the Lady Eagles seeking to formalize their claim on No. 1 via sweep and the Lady Bulldogs trying to steal the top spot heading to the semifinal round of the Shakey's V-League Season 12-Collegiate Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.

The league’s top two teams are coming into the keenly awaited 12:45 p.m. Saturday duel brimming with confidence following three emphatic victories in the quarters.

The Lady Eagles did their thing by dropping just one set in disposing of University of the Philippines, Arellano U, and Far Eastern U and preserving their unbeaten run and a 6-0 slate.

But the Lady Bulldogs turned in a more impressive record, scoring expected sweeps over La Salle-Dasmariñas, and St. Benilde and shutting down title contender UST in three last week to improve to 5-1.

That makes the match up doubly interesting with the Bulldogs hoping to use their height advantage to the hilt and neutralize and stop the Alyssa Valdez-powered Lady Eagles for a crack at the coveted spot.

The match will be shown live on GMA News TV Channel 11 and can also be viewed live via streaming on, according to the organizing Sports Vision.

A victory by NU in three or four sets will net the Lady Bulldogs the No. 1 spot in the Final Four and a clash with the No. 4 squad.

Joint third placers UST and FEU, toting identical 4-2 cards, clash in the other match at 3 p.m. with the winner facing the No. 2 team in the semis of the mid-season conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s and presented by PLDT Home Ultera.

The loser, on the other hand, will drop into a possible playoff for the last semis seat with Arellano trying to enter the semis via backdoor.

With a 3-3 slate, the Chiefs must win against winless St. Benilde on Sunday at the close of the quarterfinal round of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel.

Valdez has been lording it over the field in scoring, norming 23 hits, but with top blocker Jaja Santiago in front of her and the likes of Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Fatima General, Myla Pablo, Jorelle Singh, and Aiko Urdas providing the firepower and defense, the UAAP MVP will need to draw solid backup from the likes of Amy Ahomiro, Jhoanna Maraguinot, Bea de Leon and Kim Gequillana to keep the Lady Eagles’ streak going.



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