UAAP S79 LOGOThe solo lead in the UAAP Season 79 women's volleyball tournament will be at stake when arch rivals the Ateneo Lady Eagles (5-1) and defending champion De La Salle Lady Spikers (5-1) clash for the first time since last year's finals match-up this Saturday (March 4) at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, to be aired LIVE on S+A and S+A HD at 4pm with livestreaming on sports.abs-cbn.com.
As part of the Rivalry Weekend for UAAP Volleyball on S+A, the FEU Lady Tamaraws (4-2) and the UST Golden Tigresses (3-3) fight for better position in the standings in the curtain raiser slated at 2pm. “UPFRONT at the UAAP” will have also have a special “Ateneo vs. La Salle” primer featuring former UAAP stars Cha Cruz and Melissa Gohing of De La Salle University and Gretchen Ho and Amy Ahomiro of Ateneo De Manila University.
The Lady Eagles have been on a rampage, winning four straight games after dropping their second game against the highly-touted NU Lady Bulldogs. Meanwhile, doubts clouded over the Lady Spikers after being torched by the upstart UP Lady Maroons early in the tournament but they have since regained their composure with a three-game winning streak.
Despite losing key players, both teams are looking sharp and ready for a sixth straight Finals showdown. Season 77 Best Setter Jia Morado has embraced the role as the team’s new leader, and has been instrumental in turning Jho Maraguinot into a dangerous weapon for the former champs, similar to the graduated Phenom, Alyssa Valdez. An additional revelation for Ateneo this season has been Kat Tolentino, who finally had the green light to play after suffering knee injuries in the past two seasons, and the rounding into form of returnee Michelle Morente.
Meanwhile, for the Taft-based volleybelles, Season 78 Best Setter Kim Fajardo has been very impressive in helping the continued rise of Tin Tiamzon and their twin towers in Season 78 - Finals MVP Kim Dy and Majoy Barron - to offset the loss of Mika Reyes and offensive superweapon Ara Galang. The Lady Spikers are also enjoying an impactful rookie campaign from setter Michelle Cobb and Fil-Nigerian Aduke Ogunsaya, who have been sparkplugs off Coach Ramil De Jesus’ bench in their bid for a title defense.
FEU and UST also have an age-old rivalry as the two winningest volleyball programs in UAAP history. The squads that produced UAAP icons Venus Bernal and Mary Jean Balse (UST) and Wendy Semana and Rachel Anne Daquis (FEU) are determined to bring back glory to their schools with Bernadeth Pons leading the way for FEU, and the equally explosive Cherry Rondina for UST. The two teams are set to rekindle the flames of battles past when the two teams collide at 2pm before the Ateneo-La Salle match.
The rivalry showdown continues at the Men’s Division, as UST faces FEU, while Ateneo tries to power through DLSU for a perfect first round record also on Saturday (March 4). S+A will air the latter LIVE at 10am. On Sunday (March 5), UE goes up against Adamson at 2pm, and UP tries to bounce back against NU at 4pm in the Women’s Division to be aired LIVE on S+A, while their counterparts in the Men’s Division also go at it. The Men’s games will be aired at 6pm on S+A HD.
Tune in this Saturday (March 4) for the UAAP’s Rivalry Weekend starting with the “Ateneo vs. DLSU” special of “UPFRONT at the UAAP” at 1:30pm, followed by UST vs. FEU at 2pm and Ateneo vs. DLSU at 4pm, simultaneously on S+A and S+A HD. For more news, features, and live streaming, visit sports.abs-cbn.com or follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook. Catch the replays on S+A and S+A HD.
Jia Morado is now Ateneos heart soul and brain as wherever the S77
Kim Dy looks to lead DLSU along with Kim Fajardo to victory against their rivals