NCAA champion College of St. Benilde and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta tangle in a knockout rematch to banner the remaining playoff hopefuls in the final weekend of the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Pre-Season Championship Season 2 elimination round Saturday at the Rizal Memorial in Manila.
Game time is at 5 p.m. with the Lady Altas (1-1) and the Lady Blazers (1-1) slugging it out in a win-or-go-home setto for the second seed in Pool C and a spot in the playoffs of the 16-team SSL backed by 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.
In the opener at 11 a.m, the new-look University of the East (1-1) shoot for a breakthrough against the San Sebastian College-Recoletos (1-1) for also the last playoff ticket from Pool A as Ateneo (1-0) eyes to boost hopes against playoff-bound Far Eastern U (2-0) in Pool D at 2 p.m.
Aside from FEU, National U (2-0) from Pool A, Adamson (2-0) and Arellano (2-1) from Pool D as well as University of Santo Tomas (3-0) form Pool C are the only other squads to have booked their spots in the playoffs.
That leaves Perpetual, St. Benilde, UE, San Sebastian and Ateneo, including Emilio Aguinaldo College (0-2) and Mapua (1-2) with slim hopes, as the only remaining teams in play for the last three playoff slots.
San Beda (0-2), Lyceum (1-2), Letran (0-3) and Jose Rizal U (0-2) are out of contention.
But all eyes are on the Lady Altas and the Lady Blazers a month after their first encounter that resulted in a stunning upset for the former.
Led by NCAA MVP Mary Rhose Dapol, Perpetual eliminated the two-time NCAA queens, 25-16, 20-25, 28-26, 16-25, 15-12, for a surprising Final Four finish in the SSL National Invitationals.
“Hopefully same story. Hopefully, makalusot ulit,” said Perpetual head coach Sandy Rieta, whose wards became the first NCAA unit to beat St. Benilde following back-to-back sweep.
But CSB is out for a different story this time around with no less than a sweet vengeance in mind for a bid to prove its stature as one of the top volleyball programs in the country.
Former Finals MVPs Gayle Pascual and Jade Gentapa banner the chargers of seasoned coach Jerry Yee.
Only the top two teams from each pool will march on 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 until the knockout semifinals and best-of-three championship series.
All games will be accessible 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.
Collegiate Press Corps expands Player of the Week citation
WOMEN’S basketball and men’s volleyball will get their due recognition as the Collegiate Press Corps have decided to start handing out weekly awards to their outstanding players starting this season.
The collegial body made up of scribes covering the UAAP and tthe NCAA have unanimously agreed to extend the honors to these two sports as a way to further contribute to their ascent.
“With collegiate sports going back to its normalcy, it’s also imperative for the Collegiate Press Corps to expand our reach to the other athletes and what better way to do that than extending our Player of the Week citations to women’s basketball and men’s volleyball, on top of the traditional men’s basketball and women’s volleyball honorees,” the group said in a statement.
The Collegiate Press Corps will also hand out Collegiate Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year and Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Player of the Year awards at its annual Collegiate Awards come May 2024.
In the past, women’s basketball athletes were already feted starting in 2018 when National University’s Afril Bernardino was given the Award of Excellence.
Since then, five more players were named as Players of the Week, namely Ria Nabalan (NU) in UAAP Season 81, Pat Pesquera (UP) and Mar Prado (Adamson) in UAAP Season 82, and Kacey dela Rosa (Ateneo) and Bettina Binaohan (La Salle) last UAAP Season 85.
Meanwhile, Josh Ybanez (UST) and Joshua Retamar (NU) were hailed with the same honors last season for their invaluable performances as they blazed the trail in the men’s volleyball side.