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UST, Ateneo aim to stretch winning streaks

By Dugout Philippines

Defending champion Ateneo seeks to move closer in securing its sixth straight semifinals appearance against skidding Adamson in the UAAP Season 77 women's volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Gametime is at 4 p.m.

Reigning MVP Alyssa Valdez, acknowledges the fact that the Lady Falcons, who have lost three straight, play like there is no tomorrow everytime they play the Lady Eagles.

"Adamson, for sure, laging binibigyan ng magandang fight ang kalaban. As usual, si coach Tai (Bundit), may plan siya na I hope it would work," said Valdez.

UST, meanwhile, tries to stretch its winning streak to three as it clashes with an NU side trying to bounce back from a straight set loss to Ateneo at 2 p.m.

Despite having another error-filled game, the Lady Eagles go 8-0, banking on game-long brillance by Valdez and Amy Ahomiro to frustrate their former coach Roger Gorayeb and the Lady Bulldogs, 25-18, 25-21, 25-22.

"Sana maayos namin ang mga mistakes namin from this game (NU) para pagdating namin sa game on Wednesday, 100 percent kami," said Valdez.

In the last eight years, Ateneo missed the Final Four only once, in the 2008-09 season under Gorayeb's first year.

The Lady Falcons, who are tied with the Tigresses in sixth spot at 3-5, have not yet tasted victory in 2015, putting their Final Four aspirations in peril.

Adamson, which trails joint fourth placers UP and FEU by half a game, was out of sync in last Saturday's 19-25, 16-25, 25-23, 15-25 loss to UST.

Despite the struggles, coach Sherwin Meneses remains upbeat that the Lady Falcons will rise from this slump.

"Siguro nga eh hindi napupunta ang breaks namin. Maganda naman ang ini-ensayo eh, kaso nga lang, walang leader. Iba pa rin ang may leader, yun na lang ang kulang," said Meneses.

"Sana maka-adjust pa, hindi pa naman siguro huli ang lahat. Kasi may tiwala pa naman ako sa team ko na kaya pa namang manalo," he added.

Mylene Paat and Amanda Villanueva were only the consistent players during Adamson's losing streak, as Jessica Galanza, who starred in the San Marcelino-based spikers' 3-2 start, had a dip on her recent performances.

As the Tigresses seemed like fully recovered from their five-game losing skid, coach Odjie Mamon is glad the other seniors led by Carmela Tunay and Ria Meneses are stepping up to complement skipper Pam Lastimosa and rookie EJ Laure by acknowledging their roles.

"Yun ang goal namin, pagandahin ang standing sa second round, from a 2-5 card, we hope we can get five wins or more," said Mamon moments after beating the Lady Falcons.

Jaja Santiago, Myla Pablo, Rizza Mandapat and rookie Jorelle Singh will be the vital cogs for the Lady Bulldogs to get back on the winning track.