MANILA, Philippines - St. Louis University hopes to make a strong impact right on its first stint in the Shakey’s V-League as it collides with Southwestern U even as many-time NCAA champion San Sebastian and UAAP’s Far Eastern U tangle in the second playdate of the league’s Season 11 First Conference at The Arena in San Juan today.
The Lady Navigators try to shrug off the pressure of playing on the big stage early and settle down with their A-game, seeking to build some kind of momentum and confidence on a team built around skipper Marian Torres and former team captain Krissian Tsuchiya and beefed up by five players from the University of Baguio and University of the Cordilleras.
SLU, the 2012 Benguet Educational Athletic League champion, and SWU are bracketed with fancied Ateneo, Adamson, Arellano U and St. Benilde in Group A while Group B is composed of National U, SSC, FEU, Perpetual Help, many-time champion University of Santo Tomas and the Davao Lady Agilas, the other newcomer in the league sponsored by Shakey’s and organized by Sports Vision.
SLU and SWU slug it out at 2 p.m. while the Lady Stags and the Tams square off at 4 p.m.
Ateneo and NU, tipped to contend for the championship again, hurdled their opening day rivals Sunday with the Lady Eagles, coming off an improbable title run in the UAAP, holding off the stubborn Adamson Lady Falcons, 25-19, 18-25, 25-23, 26-24.
The Lady Bulldogs, who beat the Eagles in sudden death to win last year’s crown, stamped their class over the NCAA champions Perpetual Help side, 25-20, 25-14, 25-15, before a big crowd that showed up in the inaugural new season of the league where it all started.
Other players to watch for SLU are Colleen Rossi, and last year’s BBEAL MVP Joan Lunday along with UB team captain Florence May Madulid, Clary Mejia, former UC standouts Roxanne Almonte and Maureen Agudia.
But the Lady Cobras are also out to impress early in the league backed by Mikasa, Accel and Akari, with skipper Neresa Villanueva leading the charge along with guest players Frances Karen Derder and Lutgarda Malaluan along with mainstays Janelle Cabahug, Therese Rae Ramas, Loide Abellana, Sheena Quino, Rose de la Llana, Mae Pacinio, Dyan Darantinao and Marlyn Llagoso.