Collegiate spikefest unwraps with busy 4-match schedule at Rizal Memorial

THE Shakey’s Super League (SSL) 2022 Collegiate Pre-season Championship unwraps Saturday with an explosive four-match schedule at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

University of the East and Mapua University clash in the opening salvo at 12 noon followed by another Pool A encounter between National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rivals San Beda University and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta at 2 p.m.

Reigning NCAA champion College of St. Benilde, meanwhile, undergoes an early acid test in a showdown against University Athletic Association of the Philippines squad Far Eastern University in Pool D of the tournament featuring 18 of the country’s leading college and university volleyball teams.

Capping the action-packed opening day is the Pool B battle between Adamson University and University of Santo Tomas at 6:00 p.m.

A simple opening ceremony will follow immediately after the second game.

Invited as guests of honor and key speakers are Philippine Sports Commission chairman Noli Eala and Commission on Higher Education chairperson Prospero de Vera.

Shakey’s Pizza Ventures Inc. president and CEO Vicente Gregorio will deliver the inspirational speech while Philip Ella Juico, chairman and CEO of SSL organizer Athletic Events and Sports Management Inc. (ACES), will give the welcome remarks.

All eyes will be on the Lady Blazers as they test their mettle against the Lady Tamaraws after dominating NCAA Season 97 with a title sweep.

“We do not consider ourselves as a team to beat. We don’t want that pressure,” Blazers coach Jerry Yee said. “This is a different tournament from the NCAA so this is a new challenge for us.”

Leading the way for the Taft-based squad are NCAA Most Valuable Player Mycah Go, Gayle Pascual, Michelle Gamit and setter Cloanne Mondonedo.

The Lady Tamaraws are marching into their first organized tournament for the first time with new head coach Tina Salak.

A former FEU ace setter, Salak will pilot a young squad led by Jovelyn Fernandez, Cherry Tagaod, Shiela Kiseo and playmaker Christine Ubaldo.

Yee will also call the shots for the Lady Falcons who boast of a deep arsenal of talents headed by playmaker Louie Romero, Lucille Almonte, Lorene Toring, Aliah Marce and Rizza Cruz.

They will take on a tough Tigresses side parading a veteran crew in Eya Laure, Imee Hernandez, Camille Victoria and libero Bernadette Pepito.