UAAP Season 82: Ateneo tests rookie-laden DLSU in rivalry game opener
Mark Escarlote on Mar 06, 2020 07:37 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim)
Defending champion Ateneo de Manila head coach Oliver Almadro doesn’t want to take archrival De La Salle University lightly despite the fact that the Lady Spikers will be parading a rookie-laden line-up this UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament.
The second-year Lady Eagles mentor knows how dangerous DLSU is especially after surrendering the crown last year after a three-year hold of the throne. Almadro is also aware that the Lady Spikers have a crop of blue chip recruits.
“Alam nyo, I don’t know why people are saying na maraming bago, maraming bago. But they’re blue chip recruits eh,” said Almadro. “Ibig sabihin, kahit mga bago, if they are expected to deliver, expected ‘yun.”
So he expects nothing but a dogfight when his Lady Eagles battle the debuting Ramil De Jesus-mentored Lady Spikers on Saturday in Round 1 of the much-anticipated encounter at the MOA Arena.
Game time is at 3:30 p.m. and it will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream.
Ateneo is coming into the game all pumped up after a morale-boosting straight sets, 25-13, 25-17, 25-23, demolition of University of the Philippines last Wednesday.
Graduating hitter Kat Tolentino, who finished with 15 points last game, Jules Samonte and rookie Faith Nisperos, who debuted with 10 markers, are at the helm of the Lady Eagles attempt to seize the early solo lead. Helping the trio are returning Jho Maraguinot, who is expected to display a better showing after a quite four points in the opener, Ponggay Gaston, libero Dani Ravena and setter Jaja Maraguinot.
Ateneo dropped all of its elimination games against DLSU last year.
The Lady Spikers are sporting new faces this year led by 6-foot-2 middle Thea Gagate, 6-foot winger Leila Cruz and libero Justine Jazareno as support for holdovers Tin Tiamzon, Aduke Ogunsanya, CJ Saga, Jolina Dela Cruz and playmaker Michelle Cobb.
“They will not recruit kung di magaling. So you have to prepare and expect that those players will really deliver,” said Almadro of DLSU young guns.
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