One team is a tournament favorite while the other is a surprise finalist. But despite the difference in the paths they took, there’s no surprise the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons and the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws will leave everything on the floor to win the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference championship.
UP Lady Maroons – the step forward
The Lady Maroons just missed the semifinals of the first PVL Collegiate Conference when they were defeated in five sets by the Arellano University Lady Chiefs. Their fate in the 2018 edition seemed to follow the same path when they had three wins and as many losses with one game left to play in the elimination round. But after defeating the San Beda University Red Lionesses in straight sets, the team of coach Godfrey Okumu clinched the fourth and last semifinal spot.
However, bestowed on them was the daunting task of defeating the Adamson University Lady Falcons who went unscathed in seven games. In their lone match-up, the wards of coach Air Padda won in four sets and the odds seemed to be on their favor. But UP did not read the script as they won the first game in the best-of-three semifinal series in four sets. Adamson bounced back in game two but the Lady Maroons pulled off a shocker when they won the rubber match.
Coming into the PVL Collegiate Conference Finals, UP is facing a Goliath-like task to defeating the defending UAAP senior women’s volleyball runner-up FEU. However, they will not surrender without a fight thanks to dependable players like Marian Buitre who dominated in Game One against the Lady Falcons and potential conference MVP Isa Molde who registered 27 points in the finals-clinching win.
When left unmarked, Roselyn Rosier and Marist Layug can make the Lady Tamaraws pay. Aie Gannaban is also poised to have a big game for the Lady Maroons. With a lot of weapons to her disposal, setter Marianne Sotomil has to deliver the ball efficiently to fluster the FEU net defenders en route to a title.
FEU Lady Tamaraws – constantly reliable
Despite the departure of ace outside hitter Bernadeth Pons, the squad of coach George Pascua seemed to have kept playing good music. They posted a 5-2 record at the end of the PVL Collegiate Conference 2018 eliminations and were also facing an uphill climb in the semifinals against the UST Tigresses. But just like UP, they won in three games despite being the lower seed.
This time, the Lady Tamaraws would like to erase the memories of their finals loss to the National University Lady Bulldogs in the previous PVL Collegiate Conference. Bannering their campaign is versatile middle blocker Celine Domingo and veteran Jerrili Malabanan who will continue to field the sets of Kyle Negrito. The FEU setter is also an offensive weapon as proven by her 12 points in the second game of their series against UST.
Aside from Domingo and Malabanan, rookie Lycha Ebon and Heather Guino-o are capable of scoring in double digits too. With that collection of talent, it’s no wonder that FEU is favored to win this series. But UP has proven that they can score an upset which makes this collegiate series an exciting and hotly-contested one.
PVL Collegiate Conference 2018 Finals game schedule
UP and FEU will lock horns for the first game of their finals series on September 9, 2018 at 6 pm. Prior to that, the UST Lady Tigresses and the Adamson Lady Falcons will compete in the bronze medal series at 4 pm. The second game of both series will be played on September 12.
If the championship series will end in two games, the third-place series will also end in two games even if both teams have won a match apiece. This will be resolved via tie-breaking procedures by the FIVB. When that happens, the number of sets by which a team won, the set quotient, or points quotient will determine the bronze medalist.