by Kristel Satumbaga
Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
11:30 a.m. – Presentation of Men’s Individual Awards
12 noon – NU vs FEU (men’s finals)
3:30 p.m. – Presentation of Women’s Individual Awards
4 p.m. – UST vs Ateneo (women’s finals)
National University and University of Santo Tomas will leave no stone unturned when they gun for the UAAP volleyball titles in their respective divisions today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Bulldogs face the Far Eastern University Tamaraws at 12 noon in their bid to retain the men’s crown while the Tigresses seek to end a nine-year title drought in their 4 p.m. confrontation with the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
Both NU and UST drew the openers of their best-of-three finals series with the Bulldogs prevailing, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18, and the Tigresses winning, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, last Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With momentum on their sides, both NU and UST are making sure to close the series early and not allow their opponents to gain composure and extend the series into a knockout game.
Game 3, if necessary, will be on Saturday at the same venue.
Focus, however, will be on the Tigresses who are determined to bring the championship trophy back to España.
They are a step closer to completing their mission as the dynamic duo of Season Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina and Rookie of the Year Eya Laure put on a show in Game 1.
Rondina and Laure scored a combined 34 points including 29 kills.
“Hanggang sa dulo na to. Wag lang kaming magpapa-intimidate,” said Rondina, who has been vocal in her dream of raising the championship trophy since this will be her last year with the team.
Rondina’s parents are expected to watch what could be her emotional farewell game.
UST community is taking care of the air fare and accommodation of Rondina’s parents who are from Cebu.
But Ateneo is not giving up easily as first-year coach Oliver Almadro is looking for the right chemistry in their bid to stop Laure and Rondina.
Triple towers Kat Tolentino, Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag need to rediscover their old forms if they are to extend the series to full route.