Three-peat-seeking Ateneo headlines V-League X cast
MANILA, Philippines -- Two-time defending champions Ateneo de Manila University go for a third straight crown in the 10th Shakey's V-League First Conference starting on April 7 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Coming off a second-place finish in the recent UAAP wars, the Lady Eagles will be the odds-on favorites to complete a three-peat with its core intact.
At least nine more teams will be out to spoil Ateneo's bid, with 2012 runners-up and six-time champions University of Santo Tomas leading the challenger roll.
UAAP semifinalists National University and Adamson University will also give the Katipunan-based crew a tough time even as two-time defending NCAA queens University of Perpetual Help System Dalta head their league's delegation.
San Sebastian College, Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Arellano University are also expected to give opponents headaches while the Visayas will be represented by University of St. La Salle and University of San Carlos in Cebu.
The Lady Eagles needed three games to dispose of the Tigresses in Season 9, repulsing a searing rally by UST to take Game 3 in five sets, 25-19, 25-14, 17-25, 20-25, 15-13.
UAAP Best Scorer Alyssa Valdez anchored Ateneo's title romp as the spiker fired 22 points off 19 hits, two aces and a block even as Thai import Kesinee Lithawat added 15 markers.
Valdez and, most likely, Kesinee, will be back for the Lady Eagles this time, but as of posting time, the participation of Ateneo's Fab Five in Jem Ferrer, Fille Cainglet, Gretchen Ho, A Nacachi and Dzi Gervacio isn't set in stone yet.
Conspicuously absent from the list is Far Eastern University, who failed to make the Final Four in UAAP Season 75. - Rappler.com