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La Salle eyes share of top spot against UST at final day of first round

By Dugout Philippines

SAN JUAN, MM--De La Salle seeks to close its first round campaign with a share of the lead with defending champion Ateneo as it clashes with University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

The Lady Spikers gun for their fourth straight victory against a Tigresses side trying to avoid falling further in the standings in the 4 p.m. match.

University of the Philippines and National University, meanwhile, dispute solo fourth place in the 2 p.m. opener.

De La Salle proved everyone that it is still a major force to contend with. Displaying as the league’s best in blocking, service as well as in the setting department, the Lady Spikers shocked the Lady Eagles in last Saturday’s 25-22, 25-14, 25-18 victory that ended their fierce rival’s 24-game winning run in front of 16,536 screaming fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

With a 5-1 card in second place, La Salle is just half-a-game behind Ateneo, which totes the league’s best record at 6-1.

It has been a trying season for UST rookie coach Kungfu Reyes. After stunning the Lady Bulldogs, the Tigresses faltered in last Sunday’s 19-25, 18-25, 25-16, 30-32 loss to the Lady Maroons to slip in seventh place with a 2-4 slate.

With everybody bunched together in the middle of the pack, UST cannot afford to lose heading into the crucial second round as every game from now on counts.

While UP has showed promise to be a Final Four contender, NU is in a clueless state.

The Lady Bulldogs, who are tied with the Lady Maroons in fourth place at 3-3, have lost two matches, putting their Final Four aspirations in question.

The winner of the UP-NU clash will join Far Eastern University (4-3) in third place.

In the men’s division, NU and Far Eastern University, both tied at 4-2, clash for the solo hold of third place at 10 a.m., right after De La Salle and UST, mired at the near-bottom with identical 1-5 marks, collide at 8 a.m.

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