In a rare clash of UAAP and NCAA champs, the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles turned in a sound sweep of the Arellano University (AU) Lady Chiefs, 25-14, 25-17, 25-18 in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference in the FilOil Flying V Arena.
The back-to-back UAAP champs rode the usual Alyssa Valdez offensive explosion throughout the match. The two-time UAAP MVP produced more spikes than the entire Arellano lineup (19-17) and finished with a game-high 20 points. UAAP Season 77 Finals MVP, Amy Ahomiro paced the Ateneo offense with 13 markers which included three blocks and two aces.
Coming off a gut-wrenching five-set loss to the UST Tigresses, the NCAA champs received dismal production from its best scorers. Wiry open hitter, Danna Henson only managed five points while previously blistering, Menchie Tubiera struggled against the sturdy Ateneo defense, finishing with just four points.
The Lady Eagles led right from the first point of the match. Valdez punished the Arellano defense early in the first set then handed the reins over to Ahomiro whose solo three-point run vaulted her team to a 13-7 lead. Valdez even caught a few lucky breaks later on, managing to convert two last-ditch floaters that sealed a huge 23-13 lead. Tubiera, in her eagerness to bring her team back, notched Ateneo’s last two points with back-to-back errors.
Ateneo’s errors brought Arellano to a close 9-8 gap in the second set. With Jhoanna Maraguinot at the service line, Ateneo broke away, running off four consecutive points,13-8 as Arellano’s reception fell apart. The Lady Chiefs fought hard, but Alyssa Valdez’s cross-court hits rattled their blockers, ending the set by capping a 4-0 Ateneo blitz.
In the third frame, Arellano got most of their points from Ateneo’s errors. A Maraguinot service error gave Arellano a glimmer of hope as they trailed by one 15-16. Coming off a timeout, Kiwi Ahomiro fired off three consecutive points that pushed Ateneo to a decisive 21-16 lead that sealed the match.
“Marami pa rin kaming kailangan ayusin sa training. As you can see naman in the match, may mga errors pa rin kami in service and reception that we can still polish,” Valdez said as her Lady Eagles gave up 31 errors to Arellano’s 20.
With a perfect 5-0 carry over record, the Lady Eagles are through to the Top 4 phase of the tournament. Arellano, after a stellar first round, are now in danger of elimination with a 2-3 carry over record.
Ateneo will face the FEU Lady Tams on August 29, Sunday while Arellano will look to keep its tournament hopes alive agaimst the DLSU-D Lady Patriots on the same day.
ADMU (3) – Valdez 20, Ahomiro 13, Maraguinot 8, Gequillana 7, De Leon 5, William 1, Tan 1, De Jesus (L)
AU (0) – Henson 5, Tubiera 4, Salamagos 2, Rosario 2, Prado 2, Aganon 1, Carino 1, Legacion 1, Sagun 1, Galang (L)
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