The new-look Ateneo de Manila University-Motolite Lady Eagles successfully opened their new era in the PVL Open Conference, overwhelming league mainstays Pocari Sweat-Air Force Lady Warriors, 25-23, 17-25, 25-20, 30-28 , at the Imus City Sports Center.
Pocari Sweat led for most of the first set, but crumbled in the end. With a 23-22 advantage, the Lady Warriors surrendered three consecutive points, two of which came off their own errors.
The Lady Eagles mounted no such comeback in the second set, falling into a 19-12 pit and failing to get out. Ateneo, however, recovered in the following set, pounding the Pocari Sweat floor defense and reception to build an insurmountable 19-13 lead.
After building a 5-2 lead, the Lady Warriors collapsed early in the fourth period. The Lady Eagles picked apart Pocari Sweat on the serve, powering a 9-2 run. Down 16-21, Pocari Sweat made a late run, grabbing a 23-22 lead thanks to timely Myla Pablo hits. Ateneo eventually took the match in a long deuce ended by a Kat Tolentino block on Pablo and a Bea De Leon quick.
“I can’t say that this is an accomplishment for us,” said a cautious new Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro.
“This is still our first game. I really commend my players for pulling through. Pero may mga bagay pa kami sa system na kailangan pa namin i-implement,” the decorated men’s volleyball head coach added.
Kat Tolentino towed the Lady Eagles with 19 points, while Bea De Leon added 12.
Myla Pablo poured in 30 points, but those were not enough to overcome Pocari Sweat’s 36 errors.
Ateneo (1-0) next face the Petro Gazz Angels (1-0) on October 6 at the FilOil Flying V Centre. Pocari Sweat (0-1) will try to recover, also against Petro Gazz on Wednesday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
Ateneo-Motolite (3) – Tolentino 19, De Leon 12, Gandler 9, Gequillana 9, Madayag 8, Wong 2, Maraguinot 1, Raagas 1, Peralta (L), Ravena (L)
Pocari Sweat-Air Force (1) – Pablo 30, Panaga 16, Pantino 9, Palomata 7, Yongco 6, Kasilag 5, Semana 2, Cases 1, Andaya 0, Antipuesto 0, Balmaceda (L), Tempiatura (L)
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