SSC spikers eye semis playoff, lead share

Army    3       0
SSC     2       0
Ateneo  1       1
Navy    1       2
Air Force       0       2
Maynilad        0       2

Games Tuesday
2 p.m. – Maynilad vs Air Force
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs SSC

San Sebastian stakes its win streak against a resurgent Ateneo on Tuesday, looking for a victory and a playoff for a semis berth even as Air Force and Maynilad collide in a virtual knockout in the quarterfinal round of the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Stags toppled the Lady Eagles in four in the elims last Aug. 9 and went on pocket four more wins, including two in the quarters that put them just behind fancied Army (3-0) going to the last four playdates of the quarters.
A victory by SSC in the 4 p.m. match will assure the team of at least a playoff for a Final Four seat and a boost to its keenly awaited clash with Army on Thursday.
But Ateneo is also going flat out to get back at SSC for an all-important victory in its own semis bid in the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza. At 1-1, the first conference champions are in third but are chased by Navy (1-2) with Air Force and Maynilad still in the hunt despite dropping their first two games in the single round quarters.
Led by the league’s leading scorer American Lauren Ford and Thai Jang Baulee, the Lady Stags have been dishing out fine form although they had to pull off a five-setter over the Navy side last Aug. 25 to preserve their win run in the tournament backed by Accel, Mikasa and Maynilad Water.
But the Lady Eagles will also have to deal with SSC’s other mainstays in Joy Benito and setter Rubie de Leon, top receivers Mary Jane Pepito and Jill Gustilo if they are to stop the Stags and come up with a follow up to their four-set victory over the Maynilad Water Dragons last Sunday.
The Maynilad-Air Force match at 2 p.m. also generates interest with Maynilad’s Joy Cases and PAF’s Aiza Maizo expected to lead their respective teams in net attacks with support to come from Nica Guliman, Mervic Mangui, Syvie Artates and Beverly Boto (Maynilad) and Jennifer Manzano, Liza Deramos, Amelia Guanco and Wendy Semana (Air Force).
Meanwhile, the Army-Air Force game last Sunday will be shown today (Tuesday) starting at 2 p.m. on NBN 4 and on GMA-7’s international channels GMA Pinoy TV, GMA LifeTV and GMA News TV, according to the organizing Sports Vision.(pr)

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