MANILA, Philippines - Cagayan Valley battles a hard-luck Ateneo side today, looking no less than a victory and a share of the lead with PLDT Home Telpad and Army heading to the quarterfinal round of the Shakey’s V-League Season II Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
Riding the crest of their 3-1 triumph over the erstwhile unbeaten Lady Troopers last week, the defending champion Rising Suns hope to get past the Lady Eagles and force a three-way tie for first with the Turbo Boosters and the Lady Troopers at the end of the single round elims of the mid-season conference sponsored by Shakey’s.
But Ateneo is out to close out its elims campaign with a win as it tries to snap a two-game skid, including a five-set heartbreaker to Army last Tuesday that sent the Lady Eagles reeling to their fourth setback against just two wins.
A win in their 4 p.m. duel with the Rising Suns, however, will give the Lady Eagles some boost and the momentum going to the next round where the six qualifiers will carry their respective win-loss records starting Sunday.
Ousted UP and PNP, meanwhile, face-off in the 2 p.m. opener with both teams also going flat out for a very first win after six losses in the league backed by Mikasa and Accel.
Meanwhile, the Air Force-NU and Army-Ateneo duels last Tuesday will be aired today on GMA News TV Channel starting at 1 p.m. while the UP-PNP and Cagayan-Ateneo clashes will be telecast tomorrow, according to the organizing Sports Vision.
Though the Rising Suns are slightly favored over the Lady Eagles, the reigning UAAP champion remain hopeful of pulling off a reversal behind Alyssa Valdez, Amy Ahomiro, Michelle Morente, Miren Gequillana, Bea de Leon and Julia Morado.
Ateneo actually stood a hit away from completing a shocking upset of Army after seizing a 14-12 edge in the decider. But Morada made a service error then Rachel Daquis scored an ace on the other end before Nene Bautista and Jovelyn Bautista finished off the Lady Eagles with kills.
But Cagayan, led by Aiza Maizo, Janine Marciano, Judy Caballejo and Pau Soriano, is looking good after dealing Army its first setback last July 24 then the Rising Suns swept the Lady Maroons in the next playdate to improve to 5-1 and stay in the hunt for the No. 1 spot.