Games Today (Philsports Arena, Pasig City)
12:30 p.m. – Cignal vs IEM (men’s)
4 p.m. – UST vs Coast Guard (women’s)
6 p.m. – UP vs Customs (women’s)
Opening-day winner University of Santo Tomas guns for the early lead while Bureau of Customs debuts with superstar Alyssa Valdez in its lineup in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The Tigresses hope to follow up their 25-15, 20-25, 25-13, 25-21 triumph over the Air Force Jet Spikers in their 4 p.m. duel with the Coast Guard Lady Dolphins, even as the Transformers aim to parade their intact lineup in their 6 p.m. confrontation with the dangerous University of the Philippines Lady Maroons.
While the UST-Coast Guard match is expected to be a promising match, focus will be on newcomer Custom as it serves as Valdez’s first match with non-Atenean teammates.
“It’s my first time to go out of my comfort zone. For me, it was hard to adjust at first, but at the end of the day, I’m learning a lot from my teammates. It helps me grow as an athlete,” said Valdez, who last played with BaliPure in the Open Conference early this year.
This time, Valdez is teaming up with Thai setter Kanjana Kuthaisong and another Thai import Natthanicha Jaisaen, as well as former Adamson standout Pau Soriano, Rizza Mandapat, and Lilet Mabbayad.
UP, which finished third last year, will have its all-Filipino lineup composed of UAAP standouts Kathy Bersola, Issa Molde, Justine Dorog, Diana Carlos and Nicole Tiamzon.
The Lady Maroons also boast of a third-place finish in the previous Collegiate Conference only last month.
In the other pairing, the trio of EJ Laure, Carla Sandoval and Ria Meneses is expected to lead UST anew against Coast Guard, which is coming off a 25-8, 25-15, 25-16 loss over Laoag last Saturday.
Meanwhile, reigning champion Cignal and Instituto Estetico Manila clash at 12:30 p.m. in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Reinforced Conference. (Kristel Satumbaga)