Atenio, Adamson squared off for the final semifinal

Atenio's crucial victory in the AC Minor (right) UP is brilliant.  UAAP pictures

Atenio’s crucial victory in the AC Minor (right) UP is brilliant. UAAP pictures

For defending champion Atenio, the long way to the final is full of uncertainty. And coach Oliver Almadro says the best approach is to take “one step at a time”.

The Blue Eagle’s next move, however, could be quite difficult.

Standing in the way of Atenio is a highly inspired Adamson who is rushing to the playoffs for the final semifinal berth of the UAAP Season 84 Women’s Volleyball Tournament with the feeling that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The Lady Falcons have taken a peek at what kind of mentality they interacted with in do-or-die games after failing La Salle last Thursday to force this sudden-death showdown against the Blue Eagles.

“We all did our part because it’s a do-or-die game and we don’t want to regret it,” said Willy playmaker Louis Romero, who set up 24 greats in Adamson’s 25-23, 17-25, 25. -16, 26-24 win against La Salle.

“I knew it was now or never was, so I didn’t want to leave the team,” said Trisha Genesis, who led Lady Falcons by 20 points.

If Etinio hopes to earn another day to defend his crown, that determination must be matched.

However, after the knockout match at 5 pm on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena, the road ahead will be more difficult for the 4th team to emerge.

The winner of the match will advance to another no-tomorrow showdown against No. 3 University of Santo Thomas on Tuesday.

The winner of that conflict will then take part in the battle of 2nd La Salle, which will be defeated by double-bit armor.

Only when the series is completed will Survivor reach the final, where the undefeated National University Lady Bulldogs are waiting.

Obviously, things are very different from the time the Blue Eagles reigned in the tournament in 2019.

“If it’s for us, it’s for us. The important thing is that we do our job well, “said Almadro after Atenio’s 19-25, 25-11, 25-18, 25-19 victory over the University of the Philippines last Thursday.

“We ended up with UP, now we study with Adamson,” he added.

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