In the never-ending battle for Katipunan, the Ateneo De Manila Blue Eagles maintained its dominance with a straight sets triumph over the University of the Philippines Maroon Spikers 25-16, 25-14, 25-21 in the Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference presented by PLDT Home Ultera, at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
Improving to a 3-0 slate, the Blue Eagles have yet to face a foe that has pushed them to the limit this season. As has become routine this season, the Blue Eagles successfully shuffled through its lineup and used all but three of their players. Ateneo delivered 40 attacks to UP’s 20, and sizzled for nine aces to UP’s three.
Two-time UAAP MVP, Marck Jesus Espejo was his usual unstoppable self with 14 points on 50% spiking efficiency. Middle Blocker, Rex Intal followed with 10 points, and Ysay Marasigan rounded up the scoresheet with nine markers.
Despite the relatively dominant Ateneo showing, the Maroons still showed flashes of brilliance. The recently crowned PNG champs kept pace with the Eagles in the early stages of the first two sets. UP kept pace in the first ten points in the opening frame, before the Blue Eagles blew the set wide open and erected an insurmountable 10-point lead. In the second set UP rode a marvelous stretch and found themselves down by just a single point, 13-14. Ateneo’s Josh Villanueva staved off the UP rally with his serving that baffled the UP receivers and boosted Ateneo to a 22-13 lead.
Ateneo fielded most of their rookies in the final set of the match and still managed to plow through UP’s starting six. UP Team Captain, Alfred Valbuna was shaky in the early goings of the match, but got his mojo later on and managed a cool 11 points. Rookie Mark Millete paced the UP offense with seven points, while Wendel Miguel and Evan Raymundo both provided four points.
Both teams will see action again on Wednesday, August 5. Ateneo will try to keep its winning streak alive when it faces the Arellano Chiefs, and UP will look to improve its 2-1 slate against the winless DLSU-D Patriots.
ADMU (3) – Espejo 14, Intal 10, Marasigan 9, Rivera 6, Villanueva 6, Polvorosa 5, Koyfman 3, Medalla 2, Magadia 1, Baysa 0, Sumanguid (L)
UP (0) – Valbuena 11, Millete 7, Raymundo 4, Miguel 4, San Pascual 2, Baldelovar 1, Consuelo 0, Madrigalejos 0, Nasol (L), Luna (L)