Coming off their first loss of the tournament six days ago, the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles bounced back, trumping the Iriga-Navy Oragons, 25-19, 29-27, 25-14, at the PVL Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Calling in reinforcements from the Philippine Army, Iriga-Navy put up a better fight compared to their past outings. The Lady Eagles needed to spring free from a 15-all tie to take a 23-19 lead to take the first set.
Iriga seemed to have the second set in hand, leading 17-5 thanks to newcomer Joanne Bunag. Ateneo, however, rallied, taking a 15-20 deficit and turning it into a 24-20 gap. Poor Ateneo serve reception opened the door for Iriga to force a deuce. Ateneo stemmed the tide, going to Kat Tolentino in the end game to take a 2-0 lead.
Ateneo had all the momentum come the third set, building a 19-13 gap and never looking back.
“I just told my players na every game is a chance to learn for us,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro of his team’s second set performance. “My players know how to play, they just forget how to win sometimes.”
Tolentino led all scorers with 14 points, while Ponggay Gaston hopped off the bench and tallied eight markers.
Bunag finished with 11 markers, while fellow Army addition Nene Bautista added seven markers.
Ateneo (3-1) take on the Adamson-Akari Lady Falcons (0-4) tomorrow at the FilOil Flying V Centre. Iriga-Navy (0-6) also face Adamson on Wednesday.
Ateneo-Motolite (3) – Tolentino 14, Gaston 8, De Leon 7, Madayag 7, Gandler 6, Gequillana 3, Wong 3, Maraguinot 0, Samonte 0, Peralta (L)
Iriga-Navy (0) – Bunag 11, Bombita 8, Eguia 8, Bautista 7, Acuna 5, Cabriana 5, Raterta 1, Ramas 0, Agno (L), Ticar (L)