MANILA -- A streaking Ateneo shoots for a fifth consecutive win against a skidding University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tuesday in UAAP Season 76 women's volleyball action at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles are entering the 4 p.m. showdown as heavy favorites over the Tigresses, who are trying arrest a two-game skid.
National University (NU), which is sharing second spot with Ateneo at 4-1, seeks to keep its lofty standing against the University of the Philippines (UP) at 2 p.m.
The men open the day’s hostilities with University of the East taking on NU at 8:30 a.m. and UP facing Far Eastern University at 10 a.m.
The Lady Eagles strung four consecutive three-set triumphs after bowing to the Lady Bulldogs in the opener. A victory over UST would be a big morale booster for Ateneo for its much-anticipated showdown with “four-peat-seeking” De La Salle in a rematch of last season's Finals on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"We are taking it one game at a time. Kung saan ang kaya namin, gagawin namin," said assistant coach Parley Tupaz, who will again call the shots for the Lady Eagles in the absence Anusorn Bundit, who had to answer a call of duty in Thailand.
The power-hitting Lady Eagles duo of Alyssa Valdez and Amy Ahomiro will be the main problems the Tigresses have to handle.
Still the leader in scoring and service, Valdez remains formidable while Ahomiro is running third in the spiking department behind sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago of NU.
Carmela Tunay should break away from a slump after averaging only six points in loses to Adamson and NU to lessen the offensive burden of Pam Lastimosa and rookie Ria Meneses for UST to regain its winning form.
The Lady Bulldogs should expect a trouble-free outing over the Lady Maroons, who have lost five straight.
But NU coach Edjet Mabayyad reminded his wards to not to be overconfident.
"Malayo pa ang laban, mahaba ang season. Kailangang mag-double time," said Mabayyad, the league's youngest coach at 26.