After La Salle lost a shocker to NU, it was business as usual again for the top two teams in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament.
On a roll as they head to their much-anticipated showdown next weekend, the Lady Eagles and the Lady Spikers have shown they’re head and shoulders above the rest of the league right now.
Who’s right behind them?
1. Ateneo Lady Eagles (5-0)
Despite having some trouble with their reception and defense, the Ateneo Lady Eagles remain unscratched, especially with Jamie Lavitoria stepping up to fill in for Gizelle Tan. Now on an amazing 23-game winning streak, this team is more mature and experienced as they can ever be, making them deserving of top spot. Moreover, with Alyssa Valdez slowly heating up and bringing back her A-game, other teams will definitely have a hard time defeating the defending champions.
2. DLSU Lady Spikers (4-1)
After a shocking loss against NU, La Salle has bounced back by proving their dominance and defeating their opponents in straight sets.
In their games against Adamson and UE, coach Ramil de Jesus was able to utilize his deep bench, who have shown their capacity to produce when called upon. With Ara Galang playing at near full strength, Mika Reyes showing consistency and maturity, and Kim Fajardo delivering wit and leadership, these girls could have the advantage against a younger Ateneo squad in the most awaited rivalry game this coming Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
3. NU Lady Bulldogs (3-2)
Inconsistency will continue to hinder NU as they dream to reach the finals. Their shocking loss to UST proves it.
With Jaja Santiago and Myla Pablo being the only consistent players in the roster, players like Jorelle Singh and Bia General should start making their presence felt in every game. Lastly, 1 of their 3 setters should really step it up, so as not to give the attackers of NU a hard time adjusting because of the constant switching of coach Roger Gorayeb.
4. FEU Lady Tamaraws (3-2)
With Bernadeth Pons finally fully recovered after not being able to play much last week, FEU now has the complete set of players that will enable them to make it to the Final Four. After playing with so much intensity in defeating UP, this team experienced a confidence boost to make them believe that they can beat their succeeding opponents.
5. UST Golden Tigresses (2-3)
The Golden Tigresses started the season on the wrong foot, as they lost their 1st 3 games. But the Espana squad have found their rhythm and is now one of the teams you should watch for.
With a 2-game winning run, the UST ladies are hyped-up and confident and they will be back in the Final Four if they maintain this intensity, and if players like Chloe Cortez, Rica Rivera and Alyssa Teope would always be ready to provide a spark for this team.
6. UP Lady Maroons (2-3)
Expectations are high when it comes to this team, but for some reason these expectations are not entirely met. They win some, they lose some. The Lady Maroons would perform really well in a game and then badly in another; one day they will be on top of the rankings and the next they will be down.
Being a rookie-laden team, maturity and experience will be their disadvantage, especially during crucial moments of the game. With Nicole Tiamzon and Kathy Bersola not having consistent minutes for the team, the onus is on rookies Isa Molde, Diana Carlos and Justine Dorog to carry the team to victory.
7. Adamson Lady Falcons (1-4)
Adamson is on a downhill slope, as they have badly lost their last 4 games. These girls started the season really strong, but that intensity was not carried over to their succeeding games.
Skill-wise they have it, but the San Marcelino squad is yet to find enough motivation that will allow them to win their next games. As coach Sherwin Meneses would always say, “Mahaba pa naman ang UAAP.”
Indeed it is, but they have to make it quick, because they only have 2 games left in the 1st round.
8. UE Lady Warriors (0-5)
The Lady Warriors show a lot of promise, but they could not reflect it in their games. This team has tall and skilled players, but being labeled as the “winless team” might be getting into their heads, hindering them to deliver their optimum performance.
Almost stealing a set from UST and DLSU, UE is slowly proving that they have got it to finally end their 50-game losing streak. — By Arylle Magtalas