MANILA, Philippines - Army tests National U's mettle as it shoots for a third straight victory and a share of the lead with idle PLDT Home Telpad even as Air Force and Ateneo clash in a pair of explosive matches in the Shakey's V-League Season II Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan today.
Tipped as the top contender for the mid-season conference crown owing to their star-studded roster, the Lady Troopers try to pounce on an NU side coming off a long layoff. The Lady Bulldogs have not seen action since beating the UP Lady Maroons in four in the opening last June 29.
That should make the Lady Troopers, champions here in Season 8, the slight favorites in their 2 p.m. encounter with coach Rico de Guzman pinning his hopes again on Rachel Ann Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzagam former MVPs Nene Bautista and MJ Balse, ace setter Tina Salak, Ginie Sabas, Pat Torres, Sarah Gonzales and libero Christine Agno.
But the Lady Bulldogs hope to come out strong coming off a long rest with Jaja Santiago, Myla Pablo, Desiree Dadang, Jorelle Singh, Rizza Mandapat and Ivy Perez raring to slug it out with the most fancied team in the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
The 4 p.m. duel between Air Force and Ateneo also promises to be a close match with the Raiders gunning for third win in four games and the Lady Eagles itching to bounce back from a straight-set defeat to the PLDT Turbo Boosters last Sunday.
Air Force, which swept PNP last July 1, has bounced back from a 1-3 setback to powerhouse Army with a straight-set romp over UP last Tuesday, giving the Raiders the confidence and momentum against the reigning UAAP champions.
Maika Ortiz, Iari Yongco, May Ann Pantino and Judy Ann Caballejo brace for a spiking duel with Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez, Michelle Morente, Amy Ahomiro and Miren Gequillana with the bench also expected to step up to anchor each squad’s bid in the single round robin elims of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel.