UAAP sides Far Eastern University and University of the East try to remain unbeaten as they take on separate NCAA rivals in the V-League Collegiate Challenge resumes at the Paco Arena.
The Lady Tamaraws battle University of Perpetual Help System Dalta at 10 a.m., while the Lady Warriors tangle with Mapua at 12 noon in a pair of inter-league showdowns.
FEU and UE are coming off victories over the Lady Cardinals and Enderun in straight-set fashions last Wednesday. But Mapua bounced back with a five-set reversal over Lyceum of the Philippines University last Sunday to improve to 1-1 while the Lady Altas debuted with a sweep of San Sebastian last Friday.
Under interim coach Manolo Refugia, the Lady Tamaraws are simply keeping in place what coach Tina Salak implemented in UAAP Season 85. Salak, who has already migrated to the United States, left FEU after the season.
Parading a new-look roster led by decorated high school stars Casiey Dongallo and Jelai Gajero, the Lady Warriors are determined to shed their also-ran image and the V-League stint will help these youngsters prepare for the UAAP.
In men’s action, National University takes on a familiar foe but in an unfamiliar spot, facing University of Santo Tomas without its head coach and two key players.
The Bulldogs repulsed the Golden Spikers in the finals of this tournament and the UAAP last year with a full roster but they will set out for their 4 p.m. clash sans mentor Dante Alinsunurin and top hitter Nico Almendras and ace playmaker Owa Retamar.
“May mga bagay pa kami na kailangan ayusin, lalo na sa service. Ang importante ay masubukan ko yung team namin kahit wala sila Owa (Retamar) at Nico (Almendras),” said Alinsunurin, who is in VIetnam for the VTV Cup campaign of PVL club Choco Mucho.
Retamar and Almendras, on the other hand, have opted to take a break.
“Pinaghahandaan namin yung possibility na mawala sila in the next few years. Kailangan ready kami sa bawat laro at bawat liga na sinasalihan namin,” said Alinsunurin.
But NU remains upbeat of its chances to score a follow-up to its 25-22, 25-22, 25-19 victory over FEU last Wednesday in a bid to match the idle Perpetual Help side’s strong 2-0 start in the tournament organized by Sports Vision.
In contrast, UST is reeling from a 26-28, 25-18, 28-26, 25-21 defeat at the hands of La Salle last Friday.
Ateneo and San Beda, meanwhile, clash in the other men’s match at 2 p.m. with the Blue Eagles likewise eyeing a second straight win in the tournament.
The Katipunan-based squad turned back Emilio Aguinaldo College, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-16, last Sunday, while the Red Spikers bowed to the Altas, 14-25, 17-25, 22-25.