Volleyball fans are in for a treat as the race to the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Collegiate Pre-Season Championship Season 2 playoffs heats up.
From the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan, the SSL play shifts to Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila this weekend with three more spots up for grabs in the final weekend of the elimination round.
With five squads already in the playoffs, seven more teams are still in contention for the last three seats in intriguing matchups none bigger than a fitting rematch between College of St. Benilde and the University of Perpetual Help on Saturday.
Tied at 1-1, the Lady Blazers – back-to-back champions of the NCAA – and the Lady Altas battle it out for the No. 2 spot and the last ticket from Pool C as the University of Santo Tomas secured the top seed with an unbeaten 3-0 slate. Letran was booted out at 0-3.
Perpetual eliminated St. Benilde in the quarterfinals of the SSL National Invitationals last month for a surprise Final Four finish, beaming with hope for a repeat this time in the elite pre-season tilt backed by United Auctioneers Inc, Mikasa, Eurotel, Victory Liner, Summit Bottle Water, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, R and B Milk Tea, Potato Corner, Rebel Sports, Converge ICT Solutions and Genius Sports.
It’s the same scenario for the University of the East (1-1) and the San Sebastian College-Recoletos (1-1) on Saturday as they go head-to-head for the last seat from Pool A, topped by reigning titlist National U (2-0) entering its last no-bearing match against winless Jose Rizal U (0-2).
Fan-favorite Ateneo (1-0), for its part, embarks on a tight back-to-back schedule in Pool D against playoff-bound Far Eastern U (2-0) on Saturday and fellow hopeful Emilio Aguinaldo College (0-1) on Sunday with Mapua (1-2) lurking for a slim window of opportunity.
Depending on the results, the Blue Eagles could go as high as the No. 1 seed or be dragged to a three-way tie at 1-2, making things complicated for the last bus in Pool D.
Only Pool B has completed its playoff representatives led by Adamson (2-0), despite a game left against winless San Beda (0-2), and Arellano (2-1) securing the top two seeds, respectively. Lyceum, at 1-2, crashed out of play.
Only the top two teams from each group will advance to the playoffs, where the eight squads will carry over their standings into two new groups of four for the final ranking in the crossover quarterfinals.
Higher-ranked teams will sport twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals until the knockout semifinals and best-of-three series for the crown of SSL Season 2 in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Fans can watch the games across all platforms live and on-demand through the social media pages of Plus Network and SSL with Solar Sports, Blast TV and Aliw Channel 23 as TV partners.