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Valdez returns; Ateneo shuts down San Sebastian



Reigning UAAP champion Ateneo De Manila University Lady Eagles hammered down San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags in straight sets, 25-17, 25-13,25-21 to notch their second win in the Shakeys V-League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Sunday afternoon.

Ateneo started off well with Jhoana Maraguinot scoring three of Ateneo’s first six points in the first set, while the Lady Stags committed errors to help the Lady Eagles establish an 8-3 lead after the 1st technical timeout.The Lady Eagles continued to harness the Lady Stags’ lapses as they held a 16-11 lead. Ateneo had excellent floor defense despite the absence of guest player Ella De Jesus. Second year Maddie Madayag, who was inserted in the starting six, made her presence felt as she blasted the Lady Stags with a magnificent block for a 22-15 lead. Maraguinot ended the set with a down the line attack to book the first set for the Lady Eagles.

Errors continued to plague the Lady Stags in the second set as they struggled to pass through the superior blocking of the Lady Eagles. Kim Gequillana rained down powerful hits on San Sebastian to bury the Recto based squad into a two to nothing hole.

After sitting out the last game against the UST Golden Tigresses, National Team standout Alyssa Valdez finally made her V-League debut for the Lady Eagles in the third set. Valdez scored a drop shot to give the Lady Eagles their first point as they trailed 2-1 in the early parts of the set. The set was close as the Lady Eagles had difficulty dispatching the Lady Stags as bench player Denice Lim caught fire for San Sebastian.

Valdez scored a down the line attack to give Ateneo an 8-7 lead in the first technical timeout. From there, Gequillana, Maraguinot and Valdez worked together to muster a 16-14 Ateneo lead as the Lady Stags relied on Jolina Labiano to keep the team afloat in the game. Lim scored on two service aces to cut the Lady Eagles’ lead to 20-19. An error from the Lady Stags gave Ateneo a little breather at 21-19. Valdez then put the icing on the game as she scored off a kill to give Ateneo the match point while Katherine Villegas’ attack error let the game slip away from the Lady Stags.

Valdez said after the game she was that while she was not supposed to play, the growing list of injured players in the Lady Eagles roster forced her to step up and fill the gap.

“I am part of the line up and it’s my responsibility as a player to always be prepared,” Valdez said.

Maraguinot once again led Ateneo with 13 points, Gequillana chipped in 11 points, and Valdez finished with five points all in the third set .
Lim and Labiano both top scored San Sebastian with nine points.

The Lady Eagles will next play De La Salle University-Dasmarinas Lady Patriots on July 26 at 5pm, while the Lady Stags next assignment is against the TIP Lady Engineers on July 26 at 5pm in the same venue.

The Scores:

ADMU (3) – Maraguinot 13, Gequillana 11,Valdez 5, Ahomiro 5, De Leon 4, Madayag 4, Sato 3, Tan 0, Gaston 0, Lavitoria (L)

SSC-R (0) – Labiano 9, Lim 9, Sinamban 4, Dalisay 3, Encarnacion 2, Crisostomo 0, Guillema 0, Villegas 0, Sta.Rita 0, Eroa (L), Soltones (L)