Madayag-less Lady Eagles set eyes on first semis seat
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 18, 2016 06:18 PM
Ateneo de Manila sets its eyes on the first Final Four berth in first game without injured middle Maddie Madayag.
Hoping to regroup without hitter Maddie Madayag, two-time champion Ateneo shoots for the first Final Four berth against University of Sto. Tomas Saturday in the 78th UAAP women's volleyball tournament at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The Lady Eagles hope to stretch their winning streak to three even without Madayag, who sustained a season-ending right ACL injury in training last Tuesday, in the match scheduled at 4:00 p.m.
The duel will air live over ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23, ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and via livestream on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap.
Ateneo is currently tied with idle De La Salle in first place at 8-2, two games ahead of third-running University of the Philippines (6-4) in the race for the second twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four.
Without Madayag, the league's best server after the first round the Lady Eagles' offense will suffer, as Amy Ahomiro and Bea de Leon need to step up to fill that huge gap.
But still, Ateneo remains potent with reigning MVP Alyssa Valdez and her heir apparent Jho Maraguinot leading the way, especially during crunch time, along with setter Jia Morado.
Locked in a three-way tie with the National University and Far Eastern University at 5-5 in fourth place, the Tigresses need to play their A-game to remain on course in the Final Four race.
Sophomores EJ Laure and Cherry Rondina, along with veterans Carmela Tunay and Jessey de Leon, will be the vital cogs for UST, which is coming off a narrow 25-21, 17-20, 20-25, 25-23, 15-12 victory over Adamson University last Wednesday.
The Tigresses bowed to the Lady Eagles in four sets in the first round, part of their three-game losing streak to start the season.