ATENEO and La Salle, priming up for their much-anticipated rivalry game this weekend, posted contrasting victories to solidify their hold of 1-2 spots in the standings yesterday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With five players scoring in double-digits, the Lady Eagles overcame a second set hump to eliminate National University, 25-14, 24-26, 25-17, 25-19, while rookie Jolina dela Cruz had 13 points and 10 digs as the Lady Spikers defeated Adamson in straight sets, 25-15, 25-18, 25-16.
Formalizing its Final Four entry for the 10th straight time - and the 11th in the last 12 seasons, Ateneo improved its record to 10-1.
With its eighth win in 11 matches, La Salle gained the needed separation over its closest pursuers University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University, which are tied in third spot at 7-4, in the race for the second twice-to-beat slot in the Final Four.
The Lady Eagles and the Lady Spikers will cross paths on Saturday at the Big Dome, with the defending three-time champions eyeing to complete an elimination round head-to-head sweep against their counterparts from Katipunan.
In the men’s division, Bryan Bagunas produced 23 hits and 12 receptions as titleholder NU moved on the cusp of clinching the twice-to-beat semis incentive with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-16 romp of La Salle, while Jude Garcia had 11 points, seven receptions and six digs to lead FEU to a 25-18, 25-19, 25-12 win over University of the East and formalize its entry to the next round.
”Our mentality is be better than our best. We don’t care about our standings. Our mindset is right motivation all the time,” said Oliver Almadro.