Only two schools kept their unblemished records intact as the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament heats up.
Meanwhile, those who have the ability to fly didn’t waste the chance to finally pluck into win column. Who soared high and who fell prey in this week’s Power Rankings?:
1. National University Lady Bulldogs (3-0)
Last Week: #1
NU is on a roll as skipper Jaja Santiago, who averages 21.7 points per match, flashed her scoring prowess in the Lady Bulldogs’ first three assignments.
Santiago’s connection with playmaker Jasmine Nabor has been very effective for the Sampaloc-based squad. But, Nabor has to bear in mind that she still has other options in Aiko Urdas and Risa Sato to keep the defense guessing.
Also, the Lady Bulldogs must cut down their errors. They’ve been giving away free points off errors, prompting their opponents to push them to the brink.
After all, they don’t want the reigning champions to end their blazing streak, like how De La Salle did last season.
2. De La Salle University Lady Spikers (2-0)
Last Week: #2
A new hero rises for treble-seeking De La Salle University as playmaker Michelle Cobb slowly carves her own name.
Cobb has turned doubters into believers when she fired clutch string of aces to help the Lady Spikers escaped the gutsy University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-22, 26-24, over the weekend at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
She, however, must double her efforts in orchestrating the fluid and well-balanced offense of the Lady Spikers. Nonetheless, Majoy Baron, Kianna Dy, Desiree Cheng, and Tin Tiamzon surely got her back as they remain hungry for pride and glory.
3. Adamson University Lady Falcons (1-1)
Last Week: #8
Started from the bottom, now they’re here (at the top 3).
Adamson finally lived up to the expectations when it posted a thrilling five-set win over Far Eastern University Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Skipper Jema Galanza, who dislocated her ankle four months ago, regained her deadly form as she finished a ‘triple-double’ for the Lady Falcons with 26 points, 15 digs, and 17 receptions.
Returning middle hitter Mylene Paat was also impressive with 13 points off four kill blocks while Joy Dacoron, and Chiara Permentilla got 12 and 11, respectively.
Now, the big question is: Can the Lady Falcons sustain the momentum?
4. Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws (1-1)
Last Week: #4
As mentioned in the first week of FOX Sports Philippines’ Power Rankings, FEU would need the production of Jerrili Malabanan and Czarina Carandang to improve their chances this season.
They have to come out of their shells.
But, before that, the Lady Tamaraws also have to address their setter woes. Both Gel Cayuna and Kyle Negrito were struggling in running FEU’s engine.
Head coach George Pascua has to turn things around to translate his wards’ strength into Ws before time runs out.
5. University of the Philippines Lady Maroons (1-1)
Last Week: #5
Pushing De La Salle to its limits completely showed how far can the developing Lady Maroons go this season.
Sure, they have the firepower orchestrated by leading Best Setter Ayel Estranero. But, first, they need libero Josette Thai to act as a hungry wolf at the backline for defense.
6. Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles (1-2)
Last Week: #6
Many are expecting Ateneo de Manila to soar higher after snapping its two-game skid with a 16-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23, win against University of Santo Tomas.
The hard-hitting troika of Bea De Leon, Jho Maraguinot and Kat Tolentino pumped in 11 points apiece for the Lady Eagles while Jules Samonte added 10.
But it was Dani Ravena who shone the brightest as she provided much-improved floor defense for Ateneo, finishing with 10 digs and 10 receptions.
True enough, she was the key to end the losing slump.
7. University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses (1-2)
Last Week: #3
UST suffered another major blow in its campaign as Fil-Italian rookie Milena Alessandrini could miss the remainder of the first round due to a shoulder injury.
It was announced shortly after Rica Rivera went down with a knee injury against Ateneo over the weekend.
With that, Sisi Rondina would really need the support of Tin Francisco, Dimdim Pacres, and skipper Shannen Palec both in offense and defense.
Will they reach their peak on time?
8. University of the East Lady Warriors (0-3)
Last Week: #7
UE may have lost its first three games but the important thing is the Lady Warriors didn’t go down without putting a fight.
In fact, they gave unbeaten NU a scare in their four-set conquest through taking advantage to their opponent’s errors.
These Lady Warriors will surely be more dangerous in the coming days if they will take every game as a learning experience.