Lady Spikers eye final vs resurgent Tigresses

By Olmin Leyba

Game today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

4 p.m. – DLSU vs UST (women’s Final Four)

*DLSU with twice-to-beat advantage

MANILA, Philippines - Though they encountered a bump at the end of the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball eliminations, the La Salle Lady Spikers are staying the course, ready to take the next step in their title-retention bid by making it back to the finals.

Two weeks after settling for second seed following a bitter four-set loss to rival Ateneo, the Lady Spikers set out to redeem themselves and get back on track by hurdling the No. 3 University of Santo Tomas Tigresses in today’s Final Four at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

DLSU swept UST in their two elims showdowns and if the La Sallians continue the trend and cash in on their twice-to-beat edge in the 4 p.m. encounter, they advance to the finals for the ninth consecutive year.

La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus vowed to be all-business for the semis duel with a UST side carrying a new-found confidence and intent on over-achieving some more.

“The real battle starts in the Final Four so we can’t afford any slip-up here. We’ll do everything we can to win this one,” said DLSU coach Ramil de Jesus.

DLSU top hitter Kim Dy said they’re going into battle with a do-or-die mentality, obviously learning from last season wherein they nearly blew their semis edge and were forced to go through a rubber match against Far Eastern U then.

“We believe there is no room for complacency. We will do our best this time around as we have learned from the past,” said Dy.

After reaching the Final Four for the first time in four years, the Tigresses felt they shouldn’t  stop there.

“I can say the players are now Final Four material,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes, drawing confidence from the Tigresses’ showcase of character and effort in rallying from two-sets down past National U en route to a semis stint.

“The next step for us now is to aim higher. We won’t settle for just being in the Final Four; we want to over-achieve as far as we can,” said Reyes.

The other semis matchup, featuring top seed Ateneo against No. 4 FEU, will be played tomorrow with the Lady Eagles also enjoying the win-once bonus.     

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