Games Wednesday
(Smart-Araneta Coliseum)
10 a.m. — NU vs AdU (men)
12 noon — ADMU vs UP (men)
2 p.m. — NU vs AdU (women)
4 p.m. — ADMU vs UP (women)

BOTH out to string a streak, contenders National University (NU) and Adamson University (AdU) lock horns in a marquee duel as winless Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and the University of the Philippines (UP) spike for first victory in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Game time is at 2 p.m. with the Lady Bulldogs (1-1) and the Lady Falcons (1-1) seeking a follow-up to their breakthrough wins to stabilize their Final Four bid after flat starts.

Still listless in two games so far, the Lady Eagles and the Fighting Maroons collide in the main game at 4 p.m. to mark the first encounter of former Ateneo mentor Oliver Almadro — now with UP — against his former team. NU, finalists of the last two seasons, bowed to unbeaten University of Santo Tomas (UST) in straight sets while Adamson absorbed the same fate against reigning champion De La Salle University in last week’s opener. But both teams were quick to regain their groove with NU escaping Ateneo in a five-set thriller followed by Adamson’s short work of UP in straight sets entering their big game. The lucky winner gets to catch La Salle, which tasted its first loss at the expense of UST last weekend, for the joint second spot nearing the halfway mark of the first round. “We need to adjust, especially against Adamson,” said coach Norman Miguel after a shaky start so far in his UAAP return, noting the necessary improvements on net and floor defense.

The same mindset goes for the Lady Falcons in a learning curve under new head coach JP Yude, who’s also the mentor of the Baby Falcons in a historic 14-0 sweep of UAAP girls’ volleyball for the school’s first juniors title. “It’s a test of character and attitude for us (against NU). What we need is to win one game at a time, one training at a time,” he said.

Meanwhile in the men’s division, three-time champion NU (1-1) also wants a stabilizing win against Adamson (1-1) at 12 noon after the battle between Ateneo (1-1) and winless UP (0-2) at 10 a.m.

The Bulldogs, after having its 34-game, five-year streak snapped in the opener against UST, trumped Ateneo in straight sets to get back on track with a win today pushing them to three-way with tie at No. 2 with Santo Tomas and De La Salle.

Far Eastern University paces the men’s play with a perfect start so far in three games. — John Bryan Ulanday