By Jerome Lagunzad
(The Arena, San Juan City)
2 p.m. — FEU vs Adamson
4 p.m. — La Salle vs UP
Two-time defending champion La Salle squares off with upstart University of the Philippines today for chance to gain a share of the early lead in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Game time is at 4 p.m., with the Lady Spikers and the Lady Maroons out to pick up from where they left off the last time out as they try to join the National University Lady Bulldogs, winners of their first two matches, atop the eight-team field.
Far Eastern University also intends to do the same as the Lady Tamaraws collide with the dangerous Adamson Lady Falcons in what promises to be an entertaining showdown at 2 p.m.
The Lady Tamaraws should come in with an added confidence since they are coming off a thrilling 19-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 15-9 win over last perennial title contender Ateneo last Sunday that snapped their five-year losing skid to the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Falcons, considered by many as this year’s darkhorse, are determined to bounce back after they suffered a 25-15, 25-23, 16-25, 25-13 loss to the Lady Bulldogs over the weekend.
However, much of the spotlight should fall on the main match, with La Salle eager to perform better after escaping with a hard-earned 25-20, 17-25, 25-22, 15-25, 15-8 victory over University of Santo Tomas that left veteran mentor Ramil de Jesus much to be desired.
“Sinabi ko sa mga players, ‘Kung gusto nating manalo, dadaan tayo sa pinakamahirap na parte ng laro.’ Hopefully, makapag adjust sila agad,” said De Jesus, an observation echoed by reigning league MVP Majoy Baron.
“For me, marami pang kulang lalo sa pagje-jell ng team. I think hindi pa ito ‘yung talagang ibubuga namin. Kailangan pa namin mag-improve as a team,” said the middle blocker who finished with 19 points, including crucial hits, in the opener.