Faith Nisperos and Vanie Gandler linked up as Ateneo de Manila University escaped Adamson University in five sets, 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-27, 16-14, to complete its sweep of Pool A in the 2022 V-League Women’s Collegiate Challenge, Friday at the Paco Arena.
Nisperos erupted for 27 points on 23 attacks, three kill blocks, and an ace on top of six excellent digs while Gandler delivered 26 points on 23 attacks, two aces, and a block to lead the Blue Eagles to a perfect 3-0 finish in the group stage.
“Nag-let up kami nung fourth set, we gambled, we said that ‘sige, kayang kaya yan’ and my players nag-worry right away. Well, sa akin yun I could have changed the position right away and I asked them to put up the character right away and this is a challenge for us growing,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro.
“Well, natalo. Fifth set eto and I just told my players to be responsible with what you do and then they responded. I’m happy na nag-respond sila at the right time,” he added.
The Blue Eagles almost had it in the bag but the Lady Falcons, after trailing by 10 points, 10-19, went on a 17-6 barrage. They stole the fourth frame and send the game to a decider.
Ateneo once again figured in a tight duel with Adamson in the clincher, but Nisperos scored two consecutive kills late in the fifth set to turn a one-point disadvantage to a 14-13 lead. Trisha Tubu saved a point for the Soaring Falcons before consecutive errors from Riza Cruz and Tubu sealed the win for the Blue Eagles.
Kate Santiago paced Adamson (2-1), who settled for the second seed in the same group, with 23 points on 19 attacks, three aces, and a block while Tubu and Lorene Toring added 15 and 12 markers, respectively.
Ateneo goes up against San Beda University in the quarterfinals Friday, 3:00 PM. Meanwhile. Adamson takes on University of Sto. Tomas on November 9, Wednesday at 5:00 PM.