Lady Eagles ready for all-out war against rival Lady Spikers
Mark Escarlote on Apr 08, 2017 07:58 AM
Ateneo de Manila wants a repeat win against archrival defending champion De La Salle University.
Ateneo de Manila University braces for an all-out war when the Lady Eagles meet defending champion De La Salle University in the much-anticipated rematch between the bitter rivals in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament end of elimination round at the Big Dome Saturday.
Both squads locked the top two spots and the twice-to-beat advantages in the Final Four with identical 11-2 win-loss slates. At stake in the battle is the semis top spot.
Even with not much on the line in their 4:00 p.m. joust, the Lady Eagles are still treating the match, that will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream as an all-important game to build momentum heading into the semis.
“S’yempre all out pa rin yan kasi syempre sabi nga namin eh, kailangan masanay na kapag umapak ka sa court, kailangan all out ka talaga. All-out ‘yan sa Saturday,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sherwin Meneses.
Ateneo wants to march at center court prepared to win against the squad that ended the Katipunan-based volleybelles’ two-year reign last year.
“Siyempre kada game kailangan, mas maganda manalo,” Meneses added. “Wala namang team na gusto matalo din. Must-win pa rin, lalo na Ateneo-La Salle.”
Ateneo is coming off back-to-back victories including a cakewalk, 25-18, 25-12, 25-10, demolition of University of the East Sunday sans Jho Maraguinot.
The third year hitter remain doubtful as she nurses a nagging knee injury. Even with the possibility of Maraguinot riding the bench again, the Lady Eagles remain a dangerous foe with its deep bench.
“Syempre we want to rack up every win that we can pero with La Salle kasi, ibang preparation naman. Syempre 'yung confidence ng bawat player, kailangan namin this coming La Salle game, kasi kahit sino pwede ipasok eh,” said veteran setter Jia Morado. “Lahat ng tao sa team namin, kailangan namin for that game.”
Ateneo will bank on seasoned hitters Michelle Morente and Bea De Leon, Kat Tolentino, Ana Gopico and Maddie Madayag to provide the scoring load to make a repeat of their 26-24, 26-24, 21-25, 25-17, win against DLSU in the first round.
But the Lady Eagles are wary that the Taft-based squad are extra motivated this time to avenge their loss in their first meeting and complete a sweep of the second round.
“Well syempre, like us, I'm sure La Salle is also preparing for us, and naka-ilang games na rin, naaral na rin namin ang isa't isa,” said Morado, who will again be pitted against the equally talented DLSU playmaker Kim Fajardo. “Bilog pa rin yung bola, kung sino ang mananalo sa Saturday, yun ‘yung mas nag-prepare talaga.”
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