The new-look University of the East hammered out a 25-18, 25-20, 25-20, sweep of San Sebastian College-Recoletos to roll its way into a breakthrough playoff appearance in the 2023 Shakeys’ Super League (SSL) Collegiate Pre-Season Championship Season 2 Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.
The Lady Warriors (2-1) needed only 73 minutes to eliminate the Lady Stags (1-2) in the knockout tiff for the second place and the last playoff seat from Pool A, bannered by reigning champion and unbeaten National U with a 2-0 card.
Veteran spiker KC Cepada and super rookie Casiey Dongallo connived in UE’s assault with 14 and 11 points, respectively, as the squad gifted new coach Jerry Yee a sure Top-8 stint in his debut in the 16-team SSL backed by Mikasa, Eurotel, Victory Liner, Summit Bottle Water, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, R and B Milk Tea, Potato Corner, Rebel Sports, Converge ICT Solutions, Genius Sports and United Auctioneers, Inc.
Only the liberos did not score in a scattered onslaught of the Lady Warriors, who will be in the new Pool E of the carry-over playoffs made up of Pool B top-seed Adamson and still-to-be-determined squads from Pool C and D.
“I’m glad that in our first time together with UE in the Shakey’s featuring the complete teams from the UAAP and NCAA, we’re able to be in the Top 8. We’re excited. We talked about this possibility,” said deputy mentor Obet Vital.
“Whatever happens, happens. We’ve been together for only 2 months. We’ll work hard to go even farther. If we do that, it’s a bonus but if not, we know what we need to work on.”
The Lady Warriors banked on a 20-11 start to set the tempo against San Sebastian and not even a slow start in the next two frames would slow them down for a huge win to dodge elimination.
UE scored its other win against Jose Rizal U, 25-14, 25-21, 25-19, before absorbing a 15-25, 19-25, 15-25 loss to the mighty NU for a decent 2-1 record in pool A of the SSL Season 2 in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Katherine Santos tallied 14 points to pace the Lady Stags.
Meanwhile, Pool A’s National U and Pool B’s Adamson spike against winless Jose Rizal U and San Beda U, respectively, today in a bid to complete group sweeps heading into the playoffs as Emilio Aguinaldo College shoot for a maiden win against Ateneo in Pool D.
All games will be accessible across all platforms live and on-demand through the social media pages of Plus Network and SSL with Solar Sports, Blast TV and Aliw Channel 23 as TV partners.