All eyes on NU spikers in SSL National Invitationals

SUPER LEAGUE. Spavi president and CEO Vic Gregorio (center) discusses the upcoming Shakey's Super League (SSL) National Invitationals in a press conference at the Shakey's Malate in Manila on Tuesday (July 9, 2024). The tournament will start on Wednesday. (PNA/Jess M. Escaros Jr.)
MANILA – National University is expected to display its awesome form when it faces Enderun College in the Shakey's Super League (SSL) National Invitationals at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Wednesday.
The Lady Bulldogs, who won the UAAP Season 86 title over the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses last May, will meet the Lady Titans at noon under Pool A.
Other matches pit University of San Carlos against Letran at 9 a.m. (Pool D), UST against University of Batangas at 2 p.m. (Pool B) and University of Southern Philippines Foundation against Far Eastern University at 4 p.m. (Pool C).
Philippine Sports Commission chairperson Richard "Dickie" Bachmann and commissioner Matthew "Fritz" Gaston will grace the simple opening ceremony at 11 a.m.
NU will be spearheaded by Alas Pilipinas mainstays Bella Belen and Arah Panique, with support coming from Vange Alinsug, Sheena Toring, Camille Lamina, Chams Maaya and libero Shaira Jardio. UAAP Finals MVP Alyssa Solomon is not in the roster due to injury.
Belen and Panique will only see action for two games as the national team will attend a training camp in Japan.
Enderun, the reigning National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) champion, will parade outside hitters Erika Deloria and Shane Carmona, opposite Aurea Alvero, middleblockers Michaella Ma and Zenneth Perolino, setter Rhean Almendralejo and libero Stephanie Joice Barilla.
"This is a good opportunity to show our skills. We know that NU is a strong team, so we have do our best," said assistant coach Aries Lim, who represented head coach Ariel Dela Cruz during the press conference at Shakey's Malate on Tuesday.
Also present were ACES chairman and CEO Philip Ella Juico, Shakey's chief operating officer Jorge Concepcion, Spavi president and CEO Vic Gregorio, Smart Sports manager Bajjie del Rosario and 12 Media Company CEO Patricia Bermudez.
The other participating teams are Xavier University-Northern Mindanao Selection in Pool A, Team SOCCSKSARGEN (Southern Mindanao Selection) in Pool B, NCAA champion College of Saint Benilde in Pool D and NCAA third placer Lyceum of the Philippines University in Pool C.
Tournament format calls for all teams playing in a single round-robin group stage where the top two teams in each pool will advance to the crossover knockout quarterfinals.
The semifinals will also be played in a do-or-die affair.
The gold medal and the bronze medal matches are both best-of-three series. In case the title showdown ends in two games and the battle for third pairing is tied after Game 2, the bronze medal winner will be decided using the FIVB tiebreak. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2024-Jul-10 17.00 +0800