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Lady Eagles eye finals stint

Last year’s bridesmaid Ateneo aims for its sixth championship stint in the UAAP women’s volleyball today when it collides with the dangerous Far Eastern University at the Mall of Asia Arena.

A victory for the Lady Eagles in their 4 p.m. matchup with the Lady Tams will also bolster their bid of reclaiming the throne they lost to the La Salle Lady Spikers last season.

Though prevailing in their two eliminations meetings and boasting of a deeper lineup backstopped by veteran setter Jia Morado, Ateneo is not taking its chances against FEU lightly.

For one, their two victories over the Lady Tams went over the distance, with their first meeting ending with a 25-19, 24-26, 19-25, 25-16, 15-11 decision.

Their second tussle proved to be harder, with FEU rising from a two-set deficit before Ateneo closed it out with a 25-20, 25-22, 17-25, 21-25, 15-8 triumph.

“Final Four na ito. Lahat ng teams gustong manalo. Kahit pa three sets or five set yan, ang mahalaga, maipanalo namin. Hindi kami bibitaw,” said Ateneo Assistant Coach Sherwin Meneses.

Ateneo only needs to win once against FEU, but the Katipunan-based squad is not making any room for complacency against a hungry Lady Tams.

It has been eight years since FEU made it to the finals, and nine seasons since the team won the championship.

The Lady Tams are taking all the opportunity they can get to end that drought.

“All or nothing. Kung ito na talaga yung huling laro ko, ibibigay ko na lahat. Ganun na yung mindset namin. Malayo na yung narrating namin. Ilalaban na namin hanggang sa huli,” said graduating player Remy Palma.

Expected to join forces against Palma are Bernadeth Pons and Toni Rose Basas, who form the core of FEU’s attacks.