Regional teams vow to give it their best vs UAAP, NCAA squads in Shakey’s Invitationals
MANILA, Philippines — Regional teams relish their opportunity to play with the top UAAP and NCAA teams in the Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals starting on Saturday at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Defending UAAP champion and inaugural Collegiate Pre-Season titlist La Salle headlines the 12 participating teams from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao with the Lady Spikers slated in Pool A with NCAA squad University of Perpetual Help and Cebu’s University of Southern Philippines Foundation.
“It’s one of the flagship programs of SSL featuring the top teams in the country. By initiating this, ACES and Shakey’s want to have other players in different areas of the country to have a platform. That’s what we’re hoping to achieve in this competition,” said ACES president Dr. Ian Laurel on Friday in the event launch at Shakey’s E. Rodriguez in Quezon City.
La Salle opens its campaign against Perpetual Help at 12 noon after the opening ceremony. Cebu’s University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) and La Salle-Dasmarinas follow suit at 2 p.m. with Adamson and Mindanao’s Jose Maria College Foundation Inc. (JMCF) from Davao wrapping up the quadruple header at 4 p.m.
Taguig’s Enderun Colleges and Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU) from General Santos City kick off the tournament at 9 a.m.
“Just like everyone else, we’re excited and hoping to learn and experience being with NCAA and UAAP teams and that we’ll be giving our best because have been preparing for how many months and this year already,” said Queen Faith Wa Hing of Notre Dame of Dadiangas.
University of Santo Tomas, which replaced UAAP runner-up National University after it begged off from the tournament, is slated with La Salle-Dasma and USJR. UAAP bronze medalist Adamson, NCAA runner-up Lyceum and JMCF are grouped in Pool C, while NCAA champion College of St. Benilde, Enderun and NDDU make up Pool D with only the top two teams advancing to the knockout quarterfinals.
The provincial teams, who qualified from the regional tournaments, vow not to back down against the powerhouse UAAP and NCAA teams.
“Of course, we are very excited given this opportunity. We are hoping and looking forward to the experience that we can gain playing here. We are so happy and at the same time nervous because we will be facing some of the top volleyball players in the country,” said Cherry Sumayang of USJR.
La Salle Dasma’s Jubilee Anne Del Rosario agreed with other players from unheralded squads.
“We’re excited because before we were just watching her on television. It will be a good experience playing against them and learning from their movements. We’re excited to play and learn,” Del Rosario said in Filipino.
The knockout semifinal games are scheduled on Friday next week with the winners advancing to the best-of-three championship series on August 9, 12, and 13.
“It’s gonna be an important tournament as we’re following through the mission of creating opportunities for young women aspirants. The future stars of the country will come from this tourney,” said Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc., (SPAVI) president and CEO Vic Gregorio.
“All the big names in Philippine women’s volleyball, at one point or another, will play in the Shakey’s Super League. We promise that Shakey’s will continue as long as it can to support women’s volleyball. We’re just as blessed and humbled that we’re given this chance.”