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Lady Cards embark on SSL campaign

Article and photo by: Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo

Gearing up for another season, the Mapúa Lady Cardinals, along with other teams from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) schools, joined the Shakey’s Super League (SSL), which commenced last September 24 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
In the league’s pre-game interview with Lady Cardinals Head Coach Clarence “Aying” Esteban, he said that the SSL would be a great help and experience to the players, especially with a set of new faces. “Malaking tulong ‘to kasi ‘yong mga bagong players namin na dumating, matetest namin ngayon iyong mga rookies kung hanggang saan ang limitations ng player[s]namin,” the Head Coach stated.

Since the pre-season tournament implemented the “All to Play” rule, different sets of players will play for the first and second sets, which allows all players to play during each match. The regular substitution will return once the set score reaches 16. The third, fourth, and fifth sets are standard plays.

“As a rookie, super excited po. At the same time, may konting kaba,” Rookie and Outside Hitter Nadine Angeli Berces shared her thoughts on the “All to Play” rule.

As part of the season’s game opener last Saturday, the Lady Cards, especially the rookies, made themselves known in their battle against the University of the Lady Warriors in a five-set thriller. The home team secured the first and fourth set of the game, extending the game to five sets. However, they missed the opportunity to claim victory by the end of the last frame due to unexpected errors, 33-31, 20-25, 23-25, 25-21, 12-15.

The team’s roster for the said match included Team Captain Trixie Mae Gojol, Alyanna Nicole Ong, Chenie Batac, Babs Babiera, Therese Angelie Manalo, Ayena Gwen Espiritu, Raina Airyl Verginio, Sunshine Dalida, Gregchelle Grace Cabadin, Nadine Angeli Berces, Hannah De Guzman, and Roxie Dela Cruz.

Rookie and Opposite Spiker De Guzman led the charge with 21 attacks and 3 service aces, followed by NCAA Season 97 Second Best Middle Blocker Ong  and Rookie and Outside Spiker Dela Cruz with 8 attacks,  .

After an intense match with the Recto-based troop, the Mapúa Lady Cardinals are set to clash against the remaining squads that are part of Pool A in the preliminary round, namely the University of the Philippines Lady Fighting Maroons, San Beda Lady Red Spikers, and University of Perpetual Help DALTA Lady Altas.

Following the postponement of the scheduled games last September 25 due to Super Typhoon Karding, the league has yet to release the new time slots for the matches.

At the end of the preliminary round, the top two teams of each pool will head to the next round. The challenge system will then be implemented in the next round where they will be grouped into two pools for another round-robin play. The said system will determine their ranking in the knockout quarterfinals. The winning teams will then face a knockout semifinal and winner-take-all finals.

The matches are streamed live via Facebook, Youtube, and TikTok with a delayed telecast on IBC13 and Solar Sports.  Tickets can be purchased through or at the entrance of the venue.

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