MANILA, Philippines — National University men’s team defends its V-League Collegiate Challenge title against seven other teams as reigning NCAA champion College of Saint Benilde and revamped University of the East banner the eight-team women’s field starting on Wednesday at Paco Arena.
The Bulldogs, who swept the UAAP Season 85 men’s volleyball in May and ruled the Collegiate Challenge last year, will take on their rivals University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University, La Salle, and Ateneo.
NU took down UST in a do-or-die Game 3 Finals duel last year and also swept the Golden Spikers in the UAAP.
Also seeing action in the men’s field are NCAA champion University of Perpetual Help, runner-up San Beda University, and Emilio Aguinaldo College. Games will be held every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Meanwhile, coach Jerry Yee will parade his back-to-back NCAA reigning champion College of Saint Benilde, which swept the past two seasons, and his new team, UE.
The Lady Blazers, bannered by Gayle Pascual, Jade Gentapa, Wewe Estoque, and Cloanne Mondoñedo, will be bringing their fruitful experience in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference, where they played as special guest players for the Farm Fresh Foxies.
The Lady Red Warriors, who appointed Yee after his exit in Adamson, will be flaunting their new recruits from the high school powerhouse team, California Academy bannered by spikers Casiey Dongallo and Jelaica Gajero as well as setter Kizzie Madriaga and Grace Fernandez,
UE also landed Claire Castillo from Maryhill College to join the team led by Ja Lana.
V-League defending champion Ateneo and runner-up Adamson didn’t participate in the preseason tournament.
UAAP’s Far Eastern University will also see action with NCAA runner-up Lyceum, Mapua, University of Perpetual Help, and San Sebastian College-Recoletos as well as reigning NAASCU champion Enderun Colleges.
Both divisions will play a single round-robin in the eliminations with the top four teams advancing to the best-of-three semifinals.
The finals will also be a best-of-three series, while the battle for the bronze will be a knockout match.
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