by Kristel Satumbaga
Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. – FEU vs Ateneo (men’s)
4 p.m. – FEU vs Ateneo (women’s)
Ateneo seeks a return trip to the finals when it collides with last year’s bridesmaid Far Eastern University today in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Match is at 4 p.m. with the Lady Eagles enjoying a twice-to-beat semifinal privilege over the Lady Tamaraws after finishing the double-round eliminations on top with a 12-2 win-loss mark.
Ateneo downplayed its tag of being the overwhelming favorite in the series after sweeping FEU in the elims especially after the Lady Tamaraws outlasted three-time champions La Salle Lady Spikers in five sets at the end of the elims last week.
In fact, Ateneo’s freshman coach Oliver Almadro considered the Final Four as the start of the real battle.
“Our mindset right now is be back in the finals,” said Almadro, referring to last season’s failed attempt to barge into the finals after losing the playoffs against FEU.
Revenge, however, is not on Ateneo’s mind as the Lady Eagles are more focused on keeping their morale high.
“Our confidence is higher now and we’re more intact,” said Maddie Madayag, who forms Ateneo’s triple tower that include Bea De Leon and Kat Tolentino.
For FEU, they just want to keep on playing inspired volleyball and take it one game at a time.
The Lady Tamaraws need to win two straight over Ateneo for a second straight championship appearance.
“Malaking boost sa morale samin yung panalo sa La Salle. Kasi laban kung laban na yang Final Four eh. Wala ng excuses,” said Pascua.