La Salle hopes to ride on the momentum of its come-from-behind victory against Ateneo as the Lady Archers gun for the UAAP women’s volleyball championship today in Game 2 of their best-of-three series at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The tournament has been drawing record crowds but none was bigger than the first game of the series last Saturday when the Lady Archers battled from a two-set deficit to win the last three and set up today’s possible clincher.
Game time is 4 p.m. where the Archers can expect the Lady Eagles to put up a struggle to extend the series to a third and deciding match.
A full house is expected, much as it was in Game 1 when more than 17,000 showed up, attesting to the new drawing power of volleyball, women in particular, and heightened by the traditional fierce rivalry between the two schools.
La Salle pulled off the comeback win behind Ara Galang, looking every inch the hands down choice for an MVP award should La Salle again prevail. She will spearhead the La Salle title drive together with Michelle Gumabao and Mika Reyes as La Salle goes for its third straight title.
Should La Salle win, it would mark the second time that the school had scored a trifecta, the last time was in 2005-2007 when the team then led by Maureen Penetrante and Manilla Santos swept Adamson in the finals.
Meanwhile, National University seeks its first-ever men’s volleyball title against defending champion Far Eastern University in the opener set at 2 p.m.
Like La Salle, the Bulldogs came back from two sets down to post a 16-25, 18-25, 25-13, 25-17, 15-8 over the Tamaraws.
“Ine-expect namin na babawi ang Ateneo sa Game 2,” said La Salle coach Ramin de Jesus. “Medyo kailangan masabayan namin yung mabilis na laro nila at maging consistent sa buong laro.”
La Salle bucked 48 unforced errors and a two-set deficit in Game 1 to escape with a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6 victory behind Galang, Gumabao and seldom-used Cyd Demecillo.
Ateneo blew several leads in the final three sets to suffer its second straight meltdown at the hands of La Salle.
In January’s elimination round game, the Ateneo likewise wasted a two-set advantage.