Figuring in three tight sets, the young Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles displayed their composure, sweeping the veteran Pocari Sweat-Air Force Lady Warriors, 27-25, 25-21, 25-21, in the PVL Open Conference at the Imus City Sports Center.
Ateneo trailed in each set, only to muster late comebacks. Down 21-23, the Lady Eagles relied on fluid floor defense and transition attacks to force a deuce. Ateneo rookie Vanie Gandler scored two consecutive crucial attack points to end the opener.
Down 17-18, Ateneo again rallied, taking eight of the last 11 points in the second set. Locked at 21-all in the third set, the Lady Eagles closed the match with a 4-0 blitz. Pocari Sweat’s struggle was highlighted in the last point as exhausted skipper Myla Pablo lost her footing on a backrow kill attempt and was tagged with an error.
“May mga mistakes pa rin, pero what’s good is the team is learning,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro. “Veteran team ‘yung Pocari Sweat and we know how great their team is. We’re just very happy na we could execute just enough against them.”
Middle blocker Bea De Leon and opposite hitter Kat Tolentino each provided 12 points for the Lady Eagles.
Two-time league MVP Pablo was the only Lady Warrior in double-digits with 15 points.
Pocari Sweat dropped their second straight match, their fourth in the last five outings.
The Lady Eagles improved their record to 6-2. They face the league-leading Creamline Cool Smashers (6-1) tomorrow at the Batangas City Sports Center.
In the day’s first match, the Iriga-Navy Oragons kept the Adamson-Akari Lady Falcons winless with a 25-18, 26-24, 25-23 sweep.
Joanne Bunag topped the Oragons with 16 points. Nene Bautista added 13.
Ceasa Pinar led Adamson with seven points, while Bernadette Flora managed six.
Iriga won their second match in nine outings, while Adamson remained winless in eight matches.
Ateneo-Motolite (3) – De Leon 12, Tolentino 12, Gandler 6, Gaston 6, Madayag 6, Wong 3, Samonte 2, Gequillana 0, Maraguinot 0, Peralta (L), Ravena (L)
Pocari Sweat-Air Force (0) – Pablo 15, Palomata 8, Panaga 8, Yongco 7, Kasilag 3, Antipuesto 2, Cases 2, Pantino 2, Semana 2, Andaya 0, Balmaceda (L), Tempiatura (L)