THE University Athletic Association of the Philippines’ (UAAP) version of the “Battle of Katipunan” hits volume 2 for Season 79 this weekend with the Ateneo Lady Eagles and University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons reengaging
To take place tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Ateneo (6-1) and UP (4-3), two teams currently charting contrasting paths, return to action for the second round of the eliminations looking to set their homestretch push to a good start.
Ateneo enters the contest fresh from a gutsy four-sets victory over archrivals and defending champions De La Salle Lady Spikers last week that gave it solo leadership in the tournament at the end of the first round.
In said game, the Lady Eagles fought their way back in each of the first two sets that greatly disrupted the Lady Spikers’ game as the match progressed en route to the 26-24, 26-24, 21-25, 25-17 victory.
Bannering the Ateneo attack are veterans Jia Morado and Michelle Morente, who are top five players in setting and scoring, respectively, in the ongoing UAAP women’s volleyball season.
Steady hands Bea De Leon, Jhoana Maraguinot, Maddie Madayag, Kat Tolentino and libero Gizelle Tan are also key for the Lady Eagles, which apart from holding the league top spot are also riding a five-game winning streak.
UP, for its part, has seen a strong start taper off, losing its last three matches after a promising 4-0 streak to begin its UAAP campaign.
The Lady Maroons absorbed their latest loss at the hands of the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs in five sets, 25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 18-25 and 15-12, last Sunday in a match they were in a position to win but just could not close out things.
Marian Buitre came out strong for UP in the loss with 20 points and Tots Carlos and Nicole Tiamzon had 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Unfortunately for the Lady Maroons they are going to play sans libero Princess Gaiser who suffered a season-ending knee injury in their last game.
UST EYES FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN
Meanwhile in the opening game at 2 p.m., the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses (4-3) seek a fourth straight win when they take on the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors (1-6).
UST has seized its last three games, negating its 1-3 start and willed its way back into playoff contention.
The Tigresses beat the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in their last match with EJ Laure leading with 17 points and Sisi Rondina and Mary Dominique Pacres chipping in 14 apiece.
UST coach Emilio “Kungfu” Reyes reiterated that a firmer commitment to winning and hard work in training has been doing wonders for his team and that he hopes they would continue to be inspired of the results of late.
“Winning does not come overnight. We have to continue working hard in training and giving our best during games,” Mr. Reyes said.
Looking to halt UST’s run is UE, which finally won its first game of the season over the Adamson Lady Falcons last time around in four sets, 25-22, 20-25, 25-17 and 25-18.
Shaya Adorador scored a game-high 23 points, 20 off spikes, to pull her team to the breakthrough win.
Completing the UAAP weekend volleyball fixtures on Sunday are the matches between FEU (4-4) and Adamson (0-8) at 2 p.m. and La Salle (6-2) versus NU (5-3) at 4 p.m. Venue is also the Smart Araneta Coliseum.