Starting to pick up steam, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles went on their first win streak of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Volleyball tournament, outlasting the still-winless University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 25-18, 23-25, 25-22, 25-13, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Blue Eagles were nearly derailed by a second set meltdown. Following up a dominant first set with a 20-13 start to the following frame, Ateneo’s reception collapsed and allowed UP to force 21-all knot. Mark Millete and Gian San Pascual eventually scored the crucial last two points to give UP the set win.
In danger again of another late UP comeback, Ateneo broke away from a 20-all deadlock in the third set thanks to errors from UP’s Jerry San Pedro. Leading 23-20, the Blue Eagles sealed the set win with gits from Chumason Njigha.
The Blue Eagles dominated the fourth set to clinch the win, building a 23-11 cushion.
“Our system has been okay. Ang nagiging problema lang namin is more of our mindset during the games,” said Ateneo head coach Timothy Sto. Tomas, as his team finally got over .500.
“May tendency sila na mag-relax so ‘yun ‘yung ina-address natin ngayon,” the first-year head coach added.
Ateneo middle blocker Gian Glorioso tallied a career-high 20 points from 13 attacks, six blocks, and an ace, while Njigha finished with 12 markers.
Jerry San Pedro was the lone Fighting Maroon in double-digits with 14 points.
Ateneo (3-2) take on the National University Bulldogs (4-1) in a rematch of the last five UAAP Finals on Wednesday. Meanwhile, UP (0-6) face the Adamson University Falcons (3-2) on Sunday. Both matches will be played at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
ADMU (3) – Glorioso 20, Njigha 12, Koyfman 11, Rivera 10, Medalla 6, Magadia 3, Morado 1, Aguilar 0, Tan 0, Sumanguid (L)
UP (1) – San Pedro 14, San Pascual 8, Consuelo 7, Miellete 7, Liran 4, Baldelovar 3, Enteria 1, Ilao 0, Nasol (L)