Formidable Lady Eagles eye Shakey’s
VL title repeatBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
WITH key players from its title run last season back in the fold, Ateneo seeks its second crown in the Shakey’s V-League ninth season first conference firing off April 24 at the Filoil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles have recalled Thai ace Lithawat Kesinee to reinforce the squad, whose core powered Ateneo to a second-place finish in the UAAP.
The vaunted quartet of skipper Angeline Gervacio, the power-hitting Alyssa Valdez, Fille Cainglet and defensive specialist Gretchen Ho remain in the lineup together with libero Denden Lazaro.
Setter Jem Ferrer, who has impressed since joining Ateneo two years ago, has the task of making the attack tick as the Lady Eagles go for a repeat against a formidable field in the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza.
Expected to give the Lady Eagles a run for the title are University of Santo Tomas, which is returning to the league after a two-year absence, and traditional favorite San Sebastian and NCAA titlist Perpetual Help.
Ateneo also has a strong supporting cast toughened up by their campaigns in the UAAP with Aillysse Nacachi and Ella de Jesus expected to deliver off the bench for the Lady Eagles together with Bea Tan, Mona Bagatsing, Tash Faustino, Mae Tajima and Sarah Cruz.
Completing the roster of teams seeing action in the tournament are Far Eastern University, National University, Letran and Visayan teams University of St. La Salle of Bacolod and Cebu’s Southwestern University.
The 10-team field is divided into two groups with the top four teams from each group after a single round robin elims advancing to the quarters where they will be under one bracket. The top four after a single round will advance to the best-of-three semifinals.