Ateneo, La Salle start UAAP women's volleyball series | Inquirer Sports

Ateneo, La Salle start UAAP women’s volleyball series

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 12:14 AM March 11, 2015

PLAYER TO WATCH: Ateneo stalwart Alyssa Valdez

PLAYER TO WATCH: Ateneo stalwart Alyssa Valdez

MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo doesn’t expect its title defense to get any easier with the season-ending injury sustained by La Salle star spiker Ara Galang as the two squads start their UAAP women’s volleyball championship series Wednesday.

“We need two [wins], but it’s a hard two,” Ateneo team manager Tony Boy Liao said at the PSA Forum Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate.

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“Ara is the No. 1 spiker of La Salle, but we don’t know who will step up. Coach Ramil [De Jesus of La Salle] is a good tactician.”

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The match between the two fierce rivals—who are clashing in the Finals for the fourth straight season—kicks off at 3:30 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

READ: Retention or revenge: Ateneo, La Salle dispute UAAP women’s volley crown

But the Lady Spikers are vying to stay aggressive even without Galang, who will be out for six to eight months after sustaining a painful knee injury during La Salle’s triumph over National University in their knockout semifinal match last Saturday.

READ: La Salle advances to UAAP Finals but loses team captain Galang

“Adversity brings out the best in players,” said La Salle athletic director Nongnong Calanog. “We have to overcome a thrice-to-beat advantage and the loss of our captain.”

The Lady Eagles swept the eliminations to jump straight to the Finals and earn a thrice-to-beat bonus, equivalent to a 1-0 lead in a best-of-five series.

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But Ateneo, which is coming off a 21-day layoff, doesn’t see this as a huge advantage as the Lady Eagles spoiled the Lady Spikers’ bid for a fourth straight crown last season by overcoming their thrice-to-beat edge.

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“We didn’t stop training,” said Ateneo’s Thai coach Tai Bundit. “We have a tactic already.”

TAGS: UAAP, Volleyball

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