Manila, Philippines – Rivals Ateneo and La Salle resume their UAAP women’s volleyball ﬁnals today at The Arena in San Juan with the winner to move a step closer towards capturing the championship.
After the Lady Eagles’ stirring 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17 victory in the first game of this virtual best-of-five showdown, the title has become an open race for the two protagonists who are expected to go all out in their 2:30 p.m. encounter.
Despite needing to go through University of Santo Tomas in the stepladder phase and a thriceto-beat disadvantage against the Lady Archers in the finals, Ateneo defied all odds behind rookie Alyssa Valdez and Fille Cainglet to level the series.
Valdez and Cainglet were also backstopped by Dzi Gervacio and Gretchen Ho in the victory but the Loyola-based volleybelles of coach Roger Gorayeb are expecting a fiercer La Salle team this time. The Ramil dela Jesus-mentored Lady Archers, seeking back-to-back titles and third in the last four seasons, blew numerous chances to win by committing unforced errors in the last three sets that sealed the Game 1 doom.
Captain Cha Cruz, Abigail Marano (who had 17 points in Game 1), Michelle Gumabao and rookie Victonara Galang will lead La Salle’s quest to rebound from that stinging defeat.
Meanwhile, University of the Philippines seeks to win its second straight title when it battles UST tomorrow in the men’s football finals at the Ateneo field in Quezon City.
The Maroons, led by National U-23 team member Jinggoy Valmayor, hold a twice-to-beat advantage against the Tigers. Gametime is set at 2 p.m.
UST and La Salle, on the other hand, will collide for the women’s football crown at 9 a.m. at the same venue. The former, champions in 2009, have the twice-to-beat edge against the 2010 title-winning Lady Archers.
On the same day, Ateneo shoots for its first-ever baseball crown in Game 2 of their title series with National University at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium at 9 a.m.