Shakey’s V-League fires off: Ateneo takes on FEUBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE HARD grind back to the summit in the Shakey’s V-League begins for Ateneo.
Boasting an experienced reinforcement and a slew of powerful hitters, the Lady Eagles kick off their title-retention bid against the Far Eastern U Lady Tamaraws today in the season 9 first conference at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Just like in their UAAP campaign, the Lady Eagles will have the multititled Roger Gorayeb to call the shots on the bench. Gorayeb previously served as coach of San Sebastian.
NCAA teams San Sebastian and Letran take their rivalry to the V-League when they collide in the curtain-raiser at 2 p.m.
The two-time champion Lady Stags, under coach Clint Malazo, are hoping to regain their lofty status in the tournament, after a string of disappointing finishes in the past few tournaments.
The Lady Knights are returning to the league after a long hiatus, toughening up the 10-team competition.
Ateneo will bring the core of its team that finished second in the UAAP early this year to the tournament, where it will be bolstered by Thai Lithawat Kesinee and high school star Jirah Llaneta.
Alyssa Valdez, one of the league’s most powerful hitters, will be at the forefront of the Ateneo attack along with Angeline Gervacio and Fille Cainglet.
Defensive specialists Gretchen Ho and Denden Lazaro are also back to reinforce the squad.
The Lady Tamaraws are no pushovers, especially after acquiring the services of Thai reinforcement Areerat Sanorseang and veteran Jennifer Manzano.
San Sebastian has recalled Thai Jeng Bualee to power its campaign along with setter Rubie De Leon.
The 10-team field, which has been divided into two groups, also includes the returning University of Santo Tomas, Perpetual Help, Adamson, National U and Visayan squads University of St. La Salle and Southwestern University.
Ricky Palou, president of Sports Vision, which is organizing the event, said the latest installment of the V-League shows the sport’s sustained growth.