Reigning four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo had another incendiary outing, buoying the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles over the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 25-21, 23-25, 27-25, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Espejo slammed in 30 points off 21 attacks, five blocks, and four aces. Like their last outing against the Adamson Soaring Falcons, Espejo’s marvelous performance offset Ateneo’s errors. The Blue Eagles gave up 36 errors to UP’s 27.
“It’s definitely a problem for us. Everyone’s very aware na we can’t just give away errors,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro. “Kailangan namin maging aggressive without giving away points. Mahirap ‘yun, pero I know my team can do it.”
Middle blockers Gian Glorioso and Chumason Njigha paced the Blue Eagles with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Winger Mark Millete led the Maroons with 18 points, while Nicolo Consuelo added 14.
Ateneo (5-1) will gun for a sixth straight win to end the first round against the De La Salle University Green Spikers (3-3) on March 3 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The Fighting Maroons lost their fourth straight match and hold a 1-4 record. They face the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spikers (3-2) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
ADMU (3) – Espejo 30, Glorioso 13, Njigha 12, Medalla 6, Baysa 4, Polvorosa 3, Rivera 3, Labao 1, Morado 0, Trinidad 0, Sumanguid (L)
UP (1) – Millete 18, Consuela 14, Miguel 11, Castillo 4, Gohoc 4, San Pascual 3, Acuna 1, Baldelovar 1, Madriaejos 0, Nasol (L)