Coming off a stunning loss to Adamson a week ago, the Ateneo de Manila University regained their winning ways just in time to earn the last semifinals’ seat in the 2019 PVL Collegiate Conference, Sunday.
Returning Faith Niseperos and the Lady Eagles barely faced any resistance, while belting the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas, 25-18, 25-9, 25-17, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Nisperos, who sat out the colossal clash between Ateneo and Adamson due to a viral infection, made a successful return. The celebrated rookie pummeled all but one of her 15 points from attacks to steer the Lady Eagles to a 4-1 slate to end the preliminaries.
Ateneo skipper Ponggay Gaston chimed in 11 points, spiked by three service aces and a kill block. She also collected 11 excellent digs.
Vanie Gandler and Joan Narit also played instrumental roles in the straight-set beatdown, as they supplied eight markers apiece.
Ateneo setter Jaja Maraguinot churned out the offense. She delivered 22 excellent sets for the Lady Eagles, who rained down 37 attacks.
Maraguinot also waxed hot from the service line. She netted four aces to fuel Ateneo’s service barrage, which spelled quite the difference in the match since the Lady Eagles buried 10 compared to Perpetual’s solitary ace.
With the win, the Lady Eagles have set up a semifinals date with the UST Golden Tigresses in a rematch of the UAAP Season 81 Finals.
“I think the advantage of UST, the young players that they have may mga championship experience na… So medyo may konting disparity doon. But of course, as I always say, great teams will just push us forward,” Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro said.
“Whatever it is we just have to keep the faith in what we are doing, trust each other, and be courageous in everything that we do,” he added.
On the other hand, the Lady Altas shut down their campaign in the collegiate conference with a 1-4 card.
Bianca Tripoli topped Perpetual with eight points. Daisy Salimbacod managed five markers, while Jhona Rosal had four points.
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