Army, Ateneo brace for tough V-League invitational

The Philippine Star

Posted at Oct 24 2011 12:39 PM | Updated as of Oct 24 2011 08:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Army and Ateneo get the chance to test their strength as they slug it out with Vietnam and Malaysia in the V-League Invitational Club Championship unfolding Oct. 27 at The Arena in San Juan.

The Troopers and the Lady Eagles split the twin titles disputed in the Shakey’s V-League Season 8 with the former putting up a dominating performance to rule the season-ending conference of the country’s premier women’s volley league.

But they will be as much tested as the Eagles when they face the Russian-backed Vietnam side and the Malaysian team vying for honors in the four-day tournament, which also serves as part of the two foreign teams’ buildup for next month’s SEA Games.

Army coach Rico de Guzman is again expected to lean on the power-hitting sisters Michelle and Marietta Carolino and the talented Dahli Cruz, Joanne Buñag, Cristina Salak, Ma. Theresa Iratay, Patricia Siatan-Torres and former Shakey’s V-League MVP Mary Jean Balse as they bid for the crown in the tournament sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza.

The Lady Eagles will pin their hopes on top hitters Alyssa Valdez and Fille Cainglet and mainstays Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Dennise Lazaro, Jem Ferrer and Leal Patnongon in the tournament organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa (official volleyball) and Accel.

Vietnam, represented by the Vietsovpetro squad, looms as the early favorite with a roster boosted by Russian reinforcements Trernai Anactaxi and Martynova Ekoterina while Malaysia will be bannered by veterans Josephine Dee, Tan Chiew Lee, Ursula Ching and Jessie Lee See, Wong Fei Tien and Ho Xiao Hui.

Action is expected to be fierce in the single round-robin tournament where the top two teams disputing the crown and the two others clashing for third place honors. Two matches will be held each day starting at 2 p.m. with the other match set at 4 p.m.

Matches can also be viewed on live streaming at www.v-league.ph.