Lady Eagles face the Lady Bulldogs for the solo lead

Mark Escarlote on Feb 08, 2017 08:29 AM
Lady Eagles face the Lady Bulldogs for the solo lead
Ateneo de Manila and National University face off for a hold of the solo lead.

Ateneo de Manila seeks to start a winning run and keep a hold of the lead on Wednesday when the Lady Eagles face another opening day winner National University in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Action begins at 4:00 p.m. and will air live over ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.

The Lady Eagles and Lady Bulldogs joined University of the Philippines and defending champion De La Salle University in the opening day winners’ list.

Ateneo showed that it has all the firepower it needed after the departure of its main hitter Alyssa Valdez.

The Lady Eagles looked even more dangerous this year and their 25-20, 25-21, 25-22, domination of another pre-season favorite University of Sto. Tomas Saturday served as a warning that Ateneo is serious in its quest to reclaim the crown.

Balanced scoring and good distribution of the ball was the key for the Lady Eagles’ easy win against the Tigresses. Veteran setter Jia Morado sees it as Ateneo’s main strength this season.

“We lost a go-to player (in Alyssa Valdez) and I think this the way we can deal with it the best,” said Morado, who had 45 excellent sets the last time out. “For sure, we're going to try to get everyone to score.”

Jho Maraguinot, Michelle Morente, rookie Kat Tolentino and Bea De Leon all played well last Sunday and are again expected to deliver the same productions for the Lady Eagles. 

On the other hand, the Lady Bulldogs want to improve on their game after a slow start that saw NU struggle against University of the East, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-13, Saturday.

“Sana sa susunod na laro, medyo maka-adjust na ‘yung mga bata,” said NU coach Roger Gorayeb. “Pero s’yempre, still we cannot play like this if we want to go to the Finals. Yun ang pangarap namin, ‘yun ang goal namin, hindi kami makakarating ng ganyan. Everything in the UAAP is not an easy task, and we have to work hard on it.”

Gorayeb will bank on 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago, Jorelle Singh, Risa Sato and Aiko Urdas to keep a clean sheet and take the solo lead.





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