Ateneo faces UST, FEU challenges NU in semis series opener
All eyes are on Ateneo de Manila University star Marck Espejo as he tries to lead the unbeaten Blue Eagles closer to a Finals berth.
The race to the championship round heats up for the four remaining teams looking to rule the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference men’s division.
Game 1 of the best-of-three Final Four begins Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan with unbeaten top seed Ateneo de Manila University taking on no. 4 ranked University of Sto. Tomas at 8:00 a.m.
No. 2 seed Far Eastern University clash with National University at 10:00 a.m.
The Blue Eagles are bringing the momentum of their seven-game elimination sweep in a rematch with the Tigers, who they easily beat in their first meeting, 25-21, 25-17, 25-18, last September 9. Ateneo finished the elims with an emphatic 25-19, 25-19, 25-15 win over arch nemesis NU Bulldogs last Saturday.
Leading Most Valuable Player contender Marck Espejo, Gian Glorioso, Ishmael Rivera, Karl Baysa and setter Ish Polvorosa are again expected to carry the fight of Ateneo, who is looking to add the PVL conference title to their collection after dominating the last two editions of the defunct V-League’s Collegiate Conference.
UST closed their elims run with a 4-3 win-loss record tied with the Bulldogs but NU took the no. 3 seed via superior match points earned.
The Tigers, who will bank on the trio of Joshua Umandal, Arnold Bautista and Manuel Medina, are coming off back-to-back wins.
Meanwhile, the Tamaraws hope to recover from their end of elims setback at the hands of San Beda College, 27-29, 25-15, 20-25, 25-22, 7-15 last Monday that snapped their five-game winning streak.
FEU pins their hopes on John Paul Bugaoan, Redijohn Paler and Richard Solis to make a repeat win against NU, which the Tams defeated in five sets in their first meeting.
Game 2 of the series is on Saturday and if necessary, Game 3 is on Monday.
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