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Tiebreaker Times


Blue Eagles near second round sweep, thrash Red Warriors

Defending UAAP champions Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles are one match away after topping their record last season after ousting the listless University of the East Red Warriors in straight sets 26-24, 25-21, 25-15 in the UAAP Men’s Volleyball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Having clinched the top seed and a twice-to-beat advantage in their last outing, Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro admitted his squad came out relaxed for today’s tilt.

“Ganoon naman with players. You can’t help but be complacent sometimes especially in our situation where we already clinched the twice-to-beat,” Almadro thought. “It’s a good thing we were able to regain our intensity to finish the match.”

Piling up errors, the Blue Eagles spotted UE a 22-18 lead before storming back to force a deuce. Marck Espejo hammered down to hits to escape the set.

The next two sets were uneventful as the Blue Eagles turned on the afterburners and flexed their championship form.

Reigning two-time MVP Marck Espejo towed Ateneo with 15 points on 14 for 26 attacking. Josh Villanueva added nine markers, Rex Intal had eight points while Ysay Marasigan managed seven markers.

After losing a match against the Adamson Falcons in the first round, the Blue Eagles tore through their next eleven matches for a 12-1 record. Facing the Falcons in their last match of the elimination round on Sunday at at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Almadro assures that his team will still come out with intensity.

“We’ve really been preparing for that match for a long time. For us, it’s about staying focused. We can’t relax against anyone in the league especially at this point in the season. We need to stay sharp for the Final Four.”

UE can earn their first win in two seasons on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre when they face La Salle (4-9).

The Scores:

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Ateneo (3) – Espejo 15, Villanueva 9, Intal 8, Polvorosa 8, Marasigan 7, Medalla 6, Baysa 4, Cuerva 1, Glorioso 1, Tan 1, Magadia 0, Rivera 0, Sumanguid (L)

UE (0) – Camposano 14, Abrot 8, Alba 6, Ortega 5, Lelic 2, Saguin 2, Aljas 0, Yen Cheung 0, Imperial (L), Inoferio (L)

Written By

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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