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Top guns shoot for SSL semis spots

Faida Bakanke and the FEU Lady Tamaraws aim to become the first team to advance to the semifinals of the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-Season Championships Season 2. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SSL

Top seeds National University, Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University shoot for Final Four tickets when they tackle separate foes in the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-Season Championships Season 2 quarterfinals this weekend at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Equipped with twice-to-beat incentives, the four squads, led by reigning champion NU, want no part of an upset axe from bottom-ranked squads when it goes up against University of the East on Sunday that will also feature the duel between Adamson and Arellano University.

FEU and UST, meanwhile, will take on Ateneo de Manila University and College of Saint Benilde at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, on Saturday.

NU (6-0) and UST (5-1) topped Pool E while FEU (5-1) and Adamson (5-1) led Pool F to clinch win-once bonuses in the quarterfinals with the Lady Tamaraws looking to become the first team to make it to the Final Four.

Tagged as the favorite over the rebuilding and struggling Ateneo squad, a win by FEU would surpass its early quarterfinal exit last season in this tourney backed by Mikasa, Eurotel, Victory Liner, Summit Bottle Water, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, R and B Milk Tea, Potato Corner, Rebel Sports, Converge ICT Solutions, Genius Sports and United Auctioneers Inc.

“We have to be consistent in everything we do. For us, every game is a must-win and that is our mentality entering into this game,” Lady Tamaraws coach Manolo Refugia said.

The Lady Bulldogs echoed the same mindset, keeping their thirst and hunger for more like the way they swept through the SSL opposition to capture the inaugural title last year.

“Reaching the finals should always be our goal. We have to be aggressive and we can’t afford to relax,” NU coach Norman Miguel said.

Against all odds though, the handicapped squads at the bottom of the standings vow to give their adversaries a run for their money to force deciding games and stay in contention.

Otherwise, they would be relegated to the classification phase while the top four teams would march to the knockout semis to book spots in the best-of-three finals.

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