(Rizal Memorial Coliseum)
9 a.m. — Arellano vs Ateneo
11 a.m. — UE vs Saint Benilde
2 p.m. — Adamson vs FEU
5 p.m. — NU vs UST
Reigning champion National University and solid contender University of Santo Tomas collide today as the Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-Season Championship reaches a thrilling finale at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.
Game time between the two University Athletic Association of the Philippines powerhouse squads is at 5 p.m. with the Lady Bulldogs looking to draw first blood in the quick best-of-three titular showdown and move closer to another perfect season.
NU swept the inaugural season capped by a dominant finale show against La Salle before drawing another UAAP rival in the University of Santo Tomas this time for the crown of SSL Season 2.
Included in NU’s amazing run that season was a 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-17 win over UST in the knockout semifinals.
This season, the Lady Bulldogs reasserted their mastery of the Golden Tigresses with an easy 25-19, 25-20, 25-16 win in pool play as part of their immaculate campaign so far through eight games without any single set yielded.
But preserving a perfect run so far is not the goal, warned coach Norman Miguel, as the Lady Bulldogs want no less than the ultimate championship prize regardless of the sets needed to get the job done.
“We will be facing very competitive teams going into the finals. We are not looking to win via straight sets. What’s important is for us to win,” said Miguel, who is looking to mark his NU return with a bang.
“It gives us less pressure when you don’t think about winning by 3-0. Your opponents are also working hard.”
Against all odds though, the Kungfu Reyes-mentored UST squad is out to give NU a run for its own money, especially riding on the momentum of a two-game winning streak from a near elimination just to earn a shot at the defending champion.
The twice-to-beat-armed Golden Tigresses, after absorbing a 22-25, 25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 11-15 loss against College of St. Benilde in Game 1 of the quarterfinals, retaliated with a 25-15, 25-16, 19-25, 32-30 win in Game 2 before edging out Far Eastern U in the knockout semis, 25-21, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20.
Meanwhile, Far Eastern University and Adamson slug it out for a podium finish at 2 p.m. in the bronze medal match, also under a best-of-three series, of the SSL Season 2 in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education and the Philippine Sports Commission.
In other games, Ateneo and Arellano battle for the seventh spot at 9 a.m. followed by the duel between Saint Benilde and the University of the East at 11 a.m.