Young Lady Eagles up against Alyssa-led Cool Smashers
Ateneo-Motolite will need more than grit and court smarts when it takes on a powerhouse Creamline side poised to nail a second Premier Volleyball League crown in the Open Conference Finals beginning Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Through sheer determination, the Lady Eagles hurdled the fancied BanKo-Perlas Spikers in their best-of-three semifinal duel, fighting back from two sets down to snatch a thriller in a five-setter of a sudden death.
The Cool Smashers disposed of the PetroGazz Angels in two in their side of the Final Four of the season-ending conference organized by Sports Vision.
The young Lady Eagles, using the tournament as part of their build-up for the UAAP wars, now find themselves shooting for the crown but against a team teeming with talents, including two former stalwarts of the Katipunan-based school.
Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado, Creamline’s 1-2 punch, are all primed up to claim another championship after helping deliver the Reinforced Conference last July.
With Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato, Jema Galanza, Pau Soriano and Melissa Gohing, the Cool Smashers have the edge in manpower, not to mention experience.
But the Lady Eagles have the momentum they could ride on in the upcoming playoff. They also have the height to disrupt or unsettle the Cool Smashers’ attacks.
“We have nothing to lose,” said Bea de Leon, who forms part of the tall Ateneo triumvirate that includes Maddie Madayag and Kat Tolentino. “For as long as we believe in each other, we’ll be okay.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.