The UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball Final Four clash will kick off this weekend, with Ateneo and FEU colliding on a Saturday showdown while DLSU and NU will lock horns in the festivities on Sunday.
Let’s take a look at these 10 reasons why the upcoming Final Four matches will be filled with excitement, intrigues, and dramas.
1. Ateneo’s Resilience
The Lady Eagles’ resilience will be put to a litmus test this Saturday as they find themselves in a critical situation going up against an FEU squad carrying a twice-to-beat advantage.
Ateneo has earlier shown they can rise from the ashes after they scored a pair of comeback wins against Adamson Lady Falcons and UST Golden Tigresses in round 2.
Can they survive survive the streaking Lady Tamaraws in a do-or-die affair and force a rubber match?
2. Hungry Lady Tams
The Lady Tamaraws are eager to bring FEU back in the finals after a decade of drought.
Question is: how much do they want it?
Complacency will be the biggest enemy of the Lady Tamaraws. But if a hungry FEU squad shows up, the Lady Eagles should start packing their bags.
3. No Mercy for La Salle
Top seed DLSU Lady Spikers are expected to show no mercy against fourth seed NU Lady Bulldogs.
The defending champs eliminated UST and Adamson in the semi final race despite being assured of the number one spot – a proof of DLSU’s no mercy attitude. In a more important semifinal match, expect Ramil De Jesus’ wards to be on beast mode once again.
4. Rejuvenated Bulldogs?
NU has finally breathed a sigh of relief when they formalized their entry into the Final Four with a win against UE and DLSU’s drubbing of Adamson.
The ghost of the second round losing skid should be a thing of the past now and the Lady Bulldogs must set their focus on the next round. Will we see a rejuvenated NU squad?
5. SENIORS SENSATION
The final four cast carries a bunch of graduating players in their respective line up.
Expect Jaja Santiago, Bernadette Pons, Kim Dy, Dawn Macandili, and Majoy Baron to go all out, all heart as they all want to finish their UAAP stints with a bang.
The 6-foot-6 Santiago will need to produce monster numbers for NU while FEU will again rely on Pons’ triple-double performance. As usual, the troika of Dy, Baron,and Macandili will be instrumental in stopping Jaja and the Lady Bulldogs.
6. Swags, Emotions, Court Antics
The semifinal round will be surely filled with emotions.
With this, fans will be once again treated with players’ display of swag, court antics, and some taunting in front of the net. Do not be surprised if Desiree Cheng, Baron, Kyle Negrito, Chin chin Basas, Deanna Wong, Santiago show their signature stare downs and their animated celebration after a point.
7. Clash of MVP Contenders
Santiago vs Cheng! Pons vs Jhoana Maraguinot!
It is a nip-and-tuck affair between Cheng, Pons, and Santiago in the MVP race this season. Regardless of who wins the award, their MVP performance will be needed to help their squads reach the finals.
8. Gaston in the Opposite?
With Dani Ravena back as the starting libero for the Lady Eagles, will we see Ponggay Gaston attacking from the right side again?
This is possible considering that Ateneo needs a reliable winger especially when Jules Samonte and Maraguinot are struggling.
9. Upset Alert
Season 80 has turned out to become the most unpredictable season in the recent years.
If you think that the unpredictability has already stopped in the preliminaries, then think again.
We wouldn’t be shocked if Ateneo and NU score upsets against higher seeds DLSU and FEU.
10. Breaking the Trend
So after six editions of the DLSU-Ateneo rivalry in the UAAP finals, can other teams finally break this trend?
NU- FEU, Ateneo-NU, or FEU-DLSU in the finals also sounds a great match up.