MANILA, Philippines - San Sebastian takes on Ateneo today, seeking no less than a victory and at least a playoff for a semifinal berth even as two struggling teams try to stay in the hunt in the quarterfinal round in the ninth Shakey’s V-League Presented by Smart at The Arena in San Juan.
Toting a 2-1 card, the Lady Stags duel with the defending champions at 4 p.m., hoping to dish out their best against the league’s best in an explosive match expected to go down-to-the-wire.
Although assured of a Final Four spot with an unbeaten 5-0 mark, the Lady Eagles are also expected to go for a win in their determined bid to go all the way to another championship in the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza.
Jeng Bualee of SSC and Ateneo’s Phee Nok Kesinee are likely to neutralize each other out in a duel of Thai imports, leaving the fight for the local crew of both squads to decide.
Ateneo actually has the slight edge with Alyssa Valdez, Dzi Gervacio, Fille Cainglet, Gretchen Ho and Jam Ferrer playing cohesive ball since the elims. But Joy Benito is expected to step up for SSC in this key match along with Dafna Robinos, Karen Bernano, Rubie de Leon and Ara Mallare with support from Mae Crisostomo, Joy Corpuz, Bea Uy and Jolina Labiano.
Far Eastern U and Adamson, meanwhile, shoot for a pair of wins against University of St. La Salle-Bacolod and National U, respectively, to keep their slim hopes alive in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel.
UST, with a 4-0 slate, is a cinch to clinch the second semis berth while Perpetual Help, with a 3-1 card, has the inside track for the No. 3 seat in the Final Four.
A victory by SSC will make it tougher for FEU and Adamson to gain a crack at the playoff for the last semis seat but the Lady Tams and the Falcons will surely be gunning for victories just the same.
FEU and USLS battle at 2 p.m. while Adamson collides with NU in the 6 p.m. main game. NU has a 0-3 mark while USLS is out with a 0-4 slate.