Pulling stellar performances from nearly everyone on the team, the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles made quick work of the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas Patriots 25-12, 25-17, 25-13 in the inaugural Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference presented by PLDT Home Ultera at the FilOil Flying-V Arena.
Ateneo’s quick and hard-hitting offense produced 40 attack points to DLSU’s 20, eighth blocks to DLSU’s two, and six aces to DLSU’s one. In just two sets of action, Janjan Rivera produced a game-high 10 points. Team captain, Ysay Marasigan and American recruit, Tony Koyfman each had seven points, while UAAP MVP, Marck Espejo had nine points in limited time.
Ateneo thoroughly dominated the first set with their starters then utilized their plethora of young players to end the final set quickly. The defending UAAP champs faced the most resistance in the second set with the Patriots amping up their effort on floor defense. However, the Blue Eagles offense was just too much as reigning UAAP Best Setter, Ish Polvorosa had his team’s offense humming to the tune of 31 excellent sets.
Ateneo head coach, Oliver Almadro told Tiebreaker Times that despite his team’s remarkable effort, he refuses to be complacent. “Wala namang room for any coach para makontento. There are always things to work on, there are always ways we can improve. We always have to remain hungry specially now that everyone’s targeting us and we’re getting everyone’s best game.”
“Noong first game namin, I was really looking for everyone to be aggressive but hindi ko nakita. In this game I really liked our aggression. Wala pa kami sa gusto kong level for the Spikers’ Turf, pero I feel confident that we’re gonna get there,” the fiery mentor added.
With their first two games under their belt, the Blue Eagles look to to remain hot when they face UAAP rivals, UP Fighting Maroons on Monday, July 27. The winless Patriots will face sister school, DLSU Spikers on Thursday, July 29.
Ateneo (3) – Rivera 10, Espejo 9, Marasigan 7, Koyfman 7, Medalla 6, Villanueva 5, Baysa 2, Polvorosa 1, Glorioso 1, Posadas (L), Sumanguid (L)
DLSU-D (0) – Castro 7, Kasim E. 6, Sapida 5, Adam 3, Kasim I. 1, Mirano 1, Benitez 0, Marquez (L), Pomada (L)