MANILA – The elimination round of the 2023 V-League Men’s Collegiate Challenge is coming to an end Sunday, September 17, with the rivals Ateneo Blue Eagles and La Salle Green Spikers squaring off at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The Blue Eagles and Green Spikers will face off at 4 p.m. for a preview of the semifinal matchup between them in the tournament.
Ateneo hopes to ride on the crest of its big 25-23, 26-24, 25-9 victory over deposed champion National University last Wednesday for its fifth straight win in six games.
"Every game is important to us because it is all about preparation. If we fail to prepare just because we're in the semis, it is very un-Atenean-like. So, all these games we will take seriously because we're not in a position to relax and to be chill," said Ateneo coach Timothy Sto. Tomas.
La Salle is coming off a similar win over University of Perpetual Help last Friday, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19, for a 4-2 slate as it completed the semis cast that includes University of Santo Tomas (6-1) and Far Eastern University (4-3).
Like his counterpart, La Salle coach Jose Roque is ready and eager to face the Blue Eagles again, saying, "It is a matter of pride and I think that's all. Somehow we want to beat Ateneo, and to do so here is a big statement."
The 3-3 Bulldogs, meanwhile, try to close out their unsuccessful title-retention campaign on a winning note as they battle the San Beda University Red Spikers at 2 p.m.
In the women's division, semis-bound College of Saint Benilde collides with Enderun Colleges at noon while Mapua University and San Sebastian College-Recoletos clash in an all-NCAA face-off at 10 a.m.