CSB battles FEU in SSL opener

Games today:
(Rizal Memorial Coliseum)
12 p.m. — UE vs Mapua
2 p.m. — San Beda vs Perpetual
4 p.m. — CSB vs FEU
6 p.m. — Adamson vs UST

Reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association champion College of St. Benilde undergoes a stern test when it marches into battle in one of the explosive opening day quadruple-header pairings of the Shakey’s Super League today at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Unbeaten in their championship run in the NCAA Season 97, the Lady Blazers have a huge target on their backs in the season-opening 2022 Collegiate Pre-season Championship.

First to test the mettle of the Taft-based squad in the dangerous Pool D are perennial University Athletic Association of the Philippines contender Far Eastern University.

Game time is at 4 p.m. following a short opening ceremony where Philippine Sports Commission chairperson Noli Eala and Commission on Higher Education chairperson Prospero de Vera are invited as guests of honor and key speakers.

Clashing in the opening salvo are University of the East and Mapua University at noon followed by another Pool A encounter between National Collegiate Athletic Association rivals San Beda University and University of Perpetual Help at 2 p.m.

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

NCAA Most Valuable Player Mycah Go said that she and her wards need not feel pressured because of what they had achieved in the past.

“We don’t need to burden ourselves with that pressure,” said Go, who played a vital role in CSB’s 11-game romp to the throne.

“We’re just excited we’ll get a chance to compete in another league after the NCAA. At least in this league, we’ll get a chance to correct and address the things we need to work on,” she added.

Aside from Go, Lady Blazers head coach Jerry Yee will also pin his hopes on seasoned veterans NCAA Finals MVP Gayle Pascual, Michelle Gamit and setter Cloanne Mondonedo in the tournament implementing an all-to-play rule where all players available in a team’s roster will get a chance to see action.

“This is a different challenge for us. Although we know that some teams will not be fielding their actual lineup since this tournament is for exposure and playing time,” Yee said.

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.

Meanwhile, Yee will have another shift at the bench after the CSB game, this time as newly-appointed coach of the Lady Falcons.

Adamson parades a deep arsenal of talents led by playmaker Louie Romero, Lucille Almonte, Lorene Toring, Aliah Marce and Rizza Cruz.

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

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