MANILA, Philippines - Defending champion Ateneo and former six-time winner University of Santo Tomas step up their drive in the ninth Shakey’s V-League Presented by Smart as they take on separate rivals today at the start of the quarterfinal round at The Arena in San Juan.
Carrying the best records (3-0) after sweeping their respective groups in the elims, the Lady Eagles and the Tigresses set out as the favorites against the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod Lady Stingers and the Far Eastern U Lady Tams, respectively, hoping to pull away from the pack in another single round phase.
Ateneo, which dropped just two sets in dominating Group A, battles USLS (0-3) at 4 p.m. while UST, which posted a more impressive record of three shutout wins and a 3-1 rout in topping Group B, collides with FEU (1-2) in the 6 p.m. main game.
NCAA champion Perpetual Help (2-1) likewise tries to boost its own semis bid in the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza and backed by Mikasa and Accel as it squares off with Adamson (1-2) in the 2 p.m. opener.
National University (0-3) will see action on Tuesday against USLS while the last quarterfinalist San Sebastian College (2-1) get to play on Thursday against powerhouse Ateneo.
The Lady Eagles boast of a solid crew led by Fille Cainglet, Alyssa Valdez, Gretchen Ho, setter Jam Ferrer and the league’s top blocker Dzi Gervacio with Thai import Phee Nok Kesinee providing added firepower.
But the Lady Stingers are expected to pour it all out and spring a surprise on a team built around Patty Orendain, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Sheryl Denila, Royce Quijano, Catherine Abayon and Gianes Dolar.
UST, on the other hand, will pin its hopes again on Judy Caballejo, Mary Jane Balse, Maika Ortiz, Maruja Banaticla and tall Thai import and the league’s leading spiker Utaiwan Kaensing against an FEU side bannered by Thai Eve Sanorseang, Jen Manzano, Wenneth Eulalio, Rosemarie Vargas, Mary Rose Baniel and elims top setter Gyzelle Sy.
Games can be viewed live via streaming on www.v-league.ph .