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Tigresses replace Lady Bulldogs in SSL National Invitationals


University of Santo Tomas took over the spot of National University in the Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals unwrapping on 29 July at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

League organizer Athletic Events and Sports Management Inc. president Dr. Ian Laurel confirmed Sunday that the Lady Bulldogs are skipping the tournament featuring 12 of the finest college teams in the country due to another commitment.

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 runner-up is currently in talks with the Philippine National Volleyball Federation for a series of international stints.

NU, however, expressed its intention to join the second installment of the SSL Collegiate Preseason Championship to defend its crown.

“Although they (NU) submitted their requirements, they told us that they were talking with the PNVF. They have I think three tournaments that need the national team to join so they’re looking at partnering with NU,” Laurel told Daily Tribune.

“They told us that if they could work out a partnership with the PNVF they would have to beg off from the Invitationals and just join the Preseason.”

Laurel added that Lady Bulldogs’ management has already informed them of the recent developments.

“I think they’ve already sealed a partnership (with the PNVF) because I got word from NU management last week that they’re not joining the Invitationals,” the ACES head said.

Newly appointed NU head coach Norman Miguel also confirmed that the Lady Bulldogs have already committed to the PNVF partnership.

The league intended to have the top three teams of the UAAP join the podium finishers of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 98 along with the two qualifiers each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao for the National Invitational.

The Lady Bulldogs’ withdrawal opened a spot for the UAAP Season 85 fourth placers Tigresses to join defending champion De La Salle University and bronze medalist Adamson University.

“We’re able to talk to them (UST) and they agreed. They are now in the process of submitting their documents,” Laurel said.

UST is expected to field its holdovers led by Regina Jurado, Renee Penafiel, Detdet Pepito and setter Cassie Carballo along with new recruits as the squad rebuilds following the departure of ace scorer Eya Laure, Imee Hernandez and Milena Alessandrini.

Also in the field are NCAA back-to-back champion College of Saint Benilde, second placer Lyceum of the Philippines University and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta.

Enderun College and De La Salle University-Dasmarinas are the Luzon qualifiers, University of Southern Philippines Foundation and University of San Jose-Recoletos are representing the Visayas while Mindanao will be bannered by Notre Dame of Dadiangas University and Jose Maria College of Davao.

The 12 teams are distributed to four pools composed of three squads each. The top two teams after the pool play will advance into the knockout quarterfinal. Both the semifinal and final are also knockout affairs.

Teams are allowed to field up to 14 players per game day with five more as reserves. The tournament will not implement the all-to-play rule.

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