FINAL Four debutants Lyceum of the Philippines University and Mapua clash a do-or-die match in the NCAA women's volleyball tournament Sunday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
The winner of the 2 p.m. duel will take on University of Perpetual Help System Dalta on Wednesday in a playoff for the right to face defending champion College of Saint Benilde in the best-of-three title series.
The Lady Blazers jumped straight to the Finals for a second year in a row after completing a nine-match sweep of the elimination round.
The Lady Altas drew a bye in the step-ladder stage after finishing second with a 8-1 card.
All eyes will be on Intramuros rivals Lady Pirates and Lady Cardinals, who bounced from last season's heartbreaks to reach the semifinals.
LPU secured its first-ever Final Four stint for the first time since joining the league in 2011, while Mapua was able to bag a breakthrough semis berth since reviving its program in 2009.
If their first round meeting was a gauge, expect a close match-up between the Lady Pirates and the Lady Cardinals, who have similar 6-3 records.
LPU needed a dominating fifth set showing to turn back Mapua, 25-20, 16-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-5, last February 21.
In the men's division, Emilio Aguinaldo College and San Beda clash in the first step-ladder at 12 noon.
The Generals and the Red Spikers hold identical 6-3 slates.
Three-peat seeking Perpetual is already in the Finals after a 9-0 elims sweep. Arellano University, which ended up second with a 8-1 record, awaits the winner of the EAC-San Beda match in another do-or-die playoff on Wednesday for the last spot in the best-of-three championship.
Games Sunday (Filoil EcoOil Centre): 12 noon – EAC vs San Beda (Men), 2 p.m. – LPU vs Mapua (Women)
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