In a match that had UAAP-level tension, the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles battled through fatigue and the Adamson-Akari Lady Falcons’ tough floor defense to score a four-set win, 25-23, 16-25, 25-14, 25-20, in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Eagles were fresh off a three-set loss to BanKo yesterday in Malolos. While the Lady Falcons were winless coming into Sunday evening, they continued the trend of always giving the Lady Eagles a tough fight.
Adamson kept the first set close, winning enough long rallies to eventually gain a 23-21 lead. But their offense ran dry, as the Lady Eagles pounded in the last four points.
After dropping the second set then dominating the third, Ateneo figured in a tightly-contested fourth set. Bernadette Flora kept Adamson’s offense afloat, gifting them a 19-18 lead after a strong kill of two blockers. But the Lady Falcons struggled to score again, allowing Ateneo to go on a decisive 6-0 run to close the match.
“Adamson is a really tough. They always bring the energy to every match. Siguro, may extra energy kasi nga pareho kaming UAAP teams,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro of their foes, who took them to five sets in their first round meeting.
Maddie Madayag led the Lady Eagles with 15 points, while Vanie Gandler and Kat Tolentino each provided 12 markers.
Bernadette Flora topped the Lady Falcons with 17 markers to go with 20 digs and 11 excellent receptions.
Ateneo clinched a seat in the Final Four with a 10-3 record. They take on the Petro Gazz Angels (5-6) on Saturday at the same venue. Adamson sank to their 10th loss in as many games, and will face the Tacloban Fighting Warays (5-7), also on Saturday.
Ateneo-Motolite (3) – Madayag 15, Gandler 12, Tolentino 12, De Leon 8, Samonte 6, Gaston 4, Wong 4, Raagas 1, Maraguinot 0, Ravena (L)
Adamson-Akari (1) – Flora 17, Permentilla 12, Pinar 9, Macaslang 5, Perez 4, Igao 3, Ave 2, Genesis 1, Yandoc 0, Ponce (L)