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Nisperos, Gandler not dwelling on Ateneo’s worst start in F4 era

Disastrous was Ateneo de Manila University’s start in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.

The Blue Eagles skidded to a 1-5 start with their only victory coming from the winless University of the East, which even stole a set from them.

That record was Ateneo’s worst start in the Final Four era, even eclipsing the 1-4 card it had back in Season 73.

But heading into their last game of the first round against University of the Philippines, the Blue Eagles opted to look forward and not remember that unforgettable mark, which also saw them lose four straight games.

And it worked as Ateneo dominated the Fighting Maroons in straight sets, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22, Sunday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

“The past days we tried to focus on what we need to do and not on what happened before,” said captain Faith Nisperos.

“Sabi nga ni coach we have to end strong and that’s what we wanted to do and today I appreciate my teammates and the whole team for being good teammates yun lang naman din yung isa sa reminders ni Coach O [Almadro],” added the 5-foot-11 open spiker from Davao.

Nisperos along with co-captain Vanie Gandler led the charge in Ateneo’s return to the win column with 14 and 17 points, respectively.UAAP-85-WVB-ADMU-vs.-UP-Vanie-Gandler-1310 Nisperos, Gandler not dwelling on Ateneo's worst start in F4 era ADMU News UAAP Volleyball  - philippine sports news

With that bad memory of a skid so long out of the picture, head coach Oliver Almadro hopes that his team brings the winning mentality they had against UP into the second round.

“Sabi ko nga sa message ko sa kanila kaninang umaga, today will be a start of something for tomorrow,” said Almadro.

“First, we will just use this as a fuel to palakasin yung sarili namin going to the next round but it’s really a tough year, all team’s been tough but I have faith in my players na they’re using this as an inspiration,” he continued.

Despite being sixth in the eight-team field at 2-5, just above the teams they defeated, Gandler said they will continue to fight for Ateneo with a full round of volleyball action ahead of them.
And even in the losses, it helped them toughen up and be better as a team.

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“Of course, it’s been a frustrating and tough first round so it feels great to finally get another win and hopefully we can use this as momentum coming into the second round. The fight’s not over so we’re just gonna keep going,” said Gandler.

“Of course, we’re happy now because we got the win but even in the losses, we still enjoyed … because those losses helped us become better and helped us grow.”

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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