NU spikers eye men’s title
By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
12 noon – Ateneo vs NU (Men’s Final)
Presentation of Individual Awards
4 p.m. – La Salle vs FEU (Women’s Final)
La Salle guns for its third straight women’s title even as National University seeks to end a five-year title drought in men’s division when they battle separate foes today in Game 2 of their respective UAAP volleyball finals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Lady Spikers battle the hungry Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws at 4 p.m. while the Bulldogs hope to dethrone four-peat-seeking Ateneo Blue Eagles in their 12 noon opener of their best-of-three affairs.
La Salle took the opener, 29-27, 25-21, 25-22, and multi-titled mentor Ramil De Jesus is looking for another well-balanced attack just like the last time.
De Jesus said complacency could be their downfall.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, ang susi lang dito ay magtiyaga. Huwag nating i-give up kahit anong situation,” said De Jesus, expecting the Lady Tamaraws to come out fiercer and more determined this time.
FEU coach George Pascua is more concerned about his players’ mental toughness than La Salle’s strength.
“Sabi ko nga sa players ko, hindi ako nate-threaten kung sinumang kalaban niyo; mas nate-threaten ako kapag nag-errors kayo nang sobra-sobra,” said Pascua, lamenting their team’s 34 unforced errors in Game 1.
Pascua hopes his stalwarts will regain their composure as they eye their first crown in 10 years.
Best Blocker Celine Domingo is expected to lead FEU’s defense while spikers Bernadeth Pons and Chinchin Basas are set to match up against La Salle’s own attackers in Kim Dy, Desiree Cheng and Game 1 revelation May Luna.
Like La Salle, the NU Bulldogs also seek to keep their energy going after taking Game 1, 25-20, 25-19, 25-23, against defending champion Ateneo Eagles also last Saturday.
Limiting ace scorer and five-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo will still be NU’s main agenda while also maintaining its powerful serves after walloping 13 serves anchored on Madzlan Gampong and James Natividad.