Ateneo spikers out to halt San Sebastian
MANILA—Ateneo takes a shot at San Sebastian’s winning run, hoping to deny the Lady Stags an outright semifinal berth Tuesday in the Shakey’s V-League Season 8 Open Conference at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Their confidence boosted by a four-set conquest of Maynilad last Sunday, the Lady Eagles will try to put a stop on the Lady Stags’ juggernaut in the 4 p.m. encounter.
Maynilad and Air Force part ways at 2 p.m. in a crucial duel that could eventually decide which gets one of the three remaining semifinals berths.
The Water Dragons and the Airwomen are both coming off stinging losses with Air Force absorbing a three-set demolition at the hands of Army.
Against the Water Dragons, though, the Airwomen are slight favorites having beaten Maynilad in the elimination round.
Aiza Maizo and Jennifer Manzano are tipped to lead the Air Force attack, while Maynilad will try to counter with Beverly Boto and Joy Cases.
San Sebastian has racked up five straight wins, behind an awesome display of firepower anchored by its two imports – American Lauren Ford and Thai Jeng Bualee.
The Lady Stags easily disposed off the Lady Eagles in the first round, but with the stakes higher, Ateneo, which ended a five-game slide last Sunday, is expected to put up a tougher stand.
Alyssa Valdez and Fille Cainglet who combined for 51 points against the Water Dragons will be the focal points of the Ateneo attack, dictated by setter Jem Ferrer.
It will be up to blockers like Aerial Patnongon and Gretchen Ho and libero Denden Lazaro to neutralize San Sebastian’s vaunted attack.
The 6-foot-2 Ford has caused all sorts of problems for opposing defenses with her height and versatility.
One of the most dominant players the league has seen in years, Ford, a standout from University of South Carolina, fired a season 33 points in the five-set conquest of Navy last Thursday.