The Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles doused the red-hot University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, halting their streak at three with a straight-sets win, 25-18, 25-19, 25-21, in the UAAP Men’s Volleyball Tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, earlier today.
Despite Ateneo’s blistering offense, the Maroons managed to keep pace with Ateneo through each only to lose grip in the latter third of each set.
The Maroons even threatened to take the third set. UP momentarily held a two-point lead, 14-12, after kills from Wendel Miguel and an Ateneo attack error. Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro had to sub out reigning MVP Marck Espejo for rookie, Ron Medalla. The Blue Eagles found a way in the end, going to their veterans to finish off the Maroons.
Espejo fiished with 13 points while middle hitter Josh Villanueva and team captain Ysay Marasigan pitched in 12 and 10 markers respectively.
“We’ve been preparing mentally for the grueling stretch of this following week,” said Almadro of his three-game week. “We know we can’t take any of our opponents lightly. So kailangan we have to manage our stress from everything kahit ‘yung mga outside the court.”
Miguel towed the Maroons with 12 points while rookie opposite hitter Mark Millete added 10. The Maroons got walloped in every scoring skill but had five less errors than their Katipunan neighbors.
Both squads will next see action on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.The Blue Eagles (4-1) will next face the UE Warriors (0-5) on 8 a.m. while UP (3-2) has the Adamson Falcons (3-1) on 10 a.m.
Ateneo (3) – Espejo 13, Villanueva 12, Marasigan 10, Intal 7, Baysa 6, Polvorosa 3, Medalla 2, Posadas 0, Sumanguid (L)
UP (0) – Miguel 12, Millete 10, Consuelo 2, San Pascual 2, Trinidad 2, Acuna 1, Raymundo 1, Valbuena 1, Luna 0, Nasol (L), Madrigalejos (L)