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Tiebreaker Times


Ateneo breezes past La Salle, soars to Spikers’ Turf Finals

One-half of the Spiker’s Turf 2nd Collegiate Conference Finals picture has been occupied after Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles posted a rousing victory over arch-nemesis De La Salle University Green Spikers in straight sets, 26-24, 25-19, and 25-17, Monday morning at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Marck Espejo had another top-notch performance for the Blue Eagles, leading all scorers with 24 points off 16 attacks, six service aces, and two blocks.

La Salle had a blistering start in the opening frame, 14-10, but Ateneo overcame such by re-upping their net defense to send the set at a 17-all deadlock. The Ateneans gained the upper hand from then on, and with the Green Spikers committing a handful errors, they snatched the first set, 26-24.

Both teams exchanged tough rallies in the next set, which eventually turned to a 16-all knot midway. Ateneo, however, managed to gain momentum from the tie, scoring through service aces and cross-court hits courtesy of Espejo and Ish Polvoroza to outscore La Salle, 9-3, and take a 2-0 set lead, 25-19.

It was all Ateneo in the third and final set of the match. With a good combination of balanced attacks on offense and solid net and floor defenses, the Katipunan-based spikers flipped a slim 16-13 lead to a wide eight-point victory, 25-17, to send down the Green Spikers in three straight sets and book the first seat to the Collegiate Conference Finals.

“We started right. Yun naman ang importante eh. We started right, and we finished strong,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro.

#ReadMore  Ateneo escapes NU in epic clash; FEU, UST stay perfect

“[Pero] kailangan namin na maging more consistent pa.”

The La Sallians were led by Arjay Onia, who was the only Green Spiker that scored in double figures by posting 12 markers off 9 attacks.

Ateneo now wait for the winner of the UST-NU series in the other semis bracket.

The Scores:

ADMU (3) – Espejo 24, Intal 9, Villanueva 8, Baysa 7, Koyfman 5, Medalla 2, Polvoroza 2, Sumanguid (L).

DLSU (0) – Onia 12, Woo 9, Frey 6, Jose 4, Del Pilar 1, Maravilla 1, Dumago 0, Marco 0, Movido (L), Asia (L).

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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