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Adamson rally to upset heavily-favored Ateneo

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After a discouraging start to the season, the Adamson University Falcons scored an upset over the mighty Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles in five sets 25-19, 17-25, 22-25, 26-24, 15-13 in the UAAP Men’s Volleyball Tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena earlier today.

After Adamson claimed the first set, the Blue Eagles retaliated with convincing wins in the second and third frame. Ateneo managed their errors impeccably in that stretch but their fortunes changed in the fourth set.

For the entire match, neither side was satisfied with the officiating as numerous net interferences and line balls were put into question. Adamson vaulted ahead in the third set, 22-19, before Ateneo conspired for 3-0 run to force a tie. Both squads exchanged attacks to force a deuce. The Falcons eventually took the set after a Mike Sudaria kill and a Bryan Saraza attack.

Reeling from their previous set loss, Ateneo went to their ace hitter, Marck Espejo, early in the final frame. The Falcons eventually traced Ateneo’s attack, blocking Espejo consecutively and building a 13-9 lead. Adamson got first crack at match point, 14-11. The Blue Eagles brought Adamson down to their final match point as Espejo scored a kill, before Sudaria was tagged for a crossing violation. Adamson’s Bryan Saraza saved the Falcons, soaring over a single blocker to seal the match.

“Ang lakas talaga ng Ateneo, kami talaga ‘yung dejado doon,” said Adamson head coach Domingo Custodio. “Siguro sinuwerte kami pero ang ganda talaga ng nilaro ng mga bata ko ngayon. Sana magtuloy-tuloy.”

AdU middle blocker Dave Pletado led a balanced score sheet with 17 points. Sudaria and Saraza finished with 12 apiece, while setter Nico Ramirez tallied 10 points and 28 excellent sets.

Reigning MVP Espejo amassed 27 points, while team captain Ysay Marasigan had 16 points.

Adamson and Ateneo are now tied in the standings with identical 2-1 records.

Adamson have the Far Eastern University Tamaraws (2-1) on Sunday, 8 a.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre while Ateneo have the De La Salle University Spikers (2-1) at the same day on 10 a.m.

The Scores

AdU (3) – Pletado 17, Saraza 12, Sudaria 12, Ramirez 10, Pablico 8, Sarmiento 6, Yude 3, Consuji 0, Mendiolla (L), Megar (L)

ADMU (2) – Espejo 27, Marasigan 16, Villanueva 11, Intal 10, Rivera 8, Polvorosa 3, Baysa 3, Medalla 1, Magadia 0, Sumanguid (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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