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Lady Spikers in crucial tiff vs Lady Tamaraws

MANILA, Philippines — Defending champion La Salle, after a minor bump in the first round, begins its crucial second-round campaign today in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Lady Spikers absorbed their lone loss so far against surprise leader Santo Tomas, which mopped out the first round with a 7-0 slate, but strung four straight wins to stay within striking distance at second with a 6-1 record.

To sustain that drive before meeting the Golden Tigresses anew at the end of the elimination round for a possible vengeance, La Salle wants no let-up with its first assignment against the dangerous Far Eastern U at 4 p.m. after the duel between skidding Adamson (2-5) and UE (1-6) at 2 p.m.

La Salle re-asserted its mastery of NU (6-2) in five thrilling sets of their finals rematch to end the first round.

In that match, La Salle had to claw back from a 1-2 deficit to dodge another defeat that could have taken a big blow anew on its title retention bid – as if the stinging loss to Santo Tomas wasn’t already enough.

With the target on their backs getting larger down the stretch, last season’s Rookie-MVP Angel Canino anticipates the journey to become tougher and steeper.