NATIONAL University and Adamson, with one game separating each other, clash in a match that has a lot of implications in the race for the twice-to-beat Final Four incentive today in the resumption of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
The Lady Bulldogs were tested early in their title-retention bid in beating the Lady Falcons, 25-22, 25-19, 25-27, 22-25, 15-10, last March 1.
Then the first-round defeat to University of Santo Tomas and the back-to-back losses to La Salle gave NU a reality check.
After bowing to the Lady Spikers twice, reigning MVP Mhicaela Belen wanted to see a renewed Lady Bulldogs in this crucial stage of the season.
“From that point, nag-move forward na kami and nag-promise sa sarili namin na dapat na hindi na iyon maulit. Inumpisahan namin iyon sa training,” said Belen after NU swept University of the Philippines, 25-20, 27-25, 25-20, last April 1.
“For me, kailangan kami maging prepared physically and mentally. Kasi hindi lang naman po ang katawan ang dapat namin alagaan eh,” she added.
Sitting in fourth place with a 6-3 card, the Lady Bulldogs are a game out of the No. 2 spot, which is very important in gaining a twice-to-beat bonus in the Final Four.
The Lady Falcons, who have won their last three matches, hold a 7-2 record in second spot which they wanted to solidify as the Tigresses, who snapped the Lady Spikers’ nine-game winning streak before the Holy Week break, are not far behind.
UST sports a 7-3 slate in third place.
For Adamson’s Kate Santiago, passing will be one of the main keys if it wanted to avenge its first-round loss to NU.
“Yun din po talaga ang trabaho ng outside hitter po when it comes kay coach Jerry po. Yun din ang hinahanap niya kaya kailangang pagtrabahuan po,” said Santiago.
Whether all the sacrifices that both teams made during the Lenten break has remain to be seen in the match scheduled at 3 p.m.
Three games out of the last Final Four slot at 3-6, Ateneo cannot afford to make any missteps from now on.
The 11 a.m. duel with the Fighting Maroons hope to jumpstart everything for the Blue Eagles with a victory as they try to maintain the Final Four streak the Katipunan-based squad started in the 2009-10 season.
“Nothing is impossible. We have to keep the faith and keep on working hard. Acknowledge yung mistakes and move forward kung ano ang puwede naming gawin. We have to be at the present,” said coach Oliver Almadro after Ateneo’s 23-25, 17-25, 24-26 defeat to Adamson.