Ateneo Lady Eagles survive Lady Tamaraws to book Final Four ticket
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Ateneo Lady Eagles become the first team to clinch a semifinals berth in Season 79 of UAAP Women's Volleyball as they defeated the resilient Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in 5 sets, 25-20, 25-22, 17-25, 21-25, 15-8 on Saturday, March 18 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Tamaraws, who outscored last year's runners-up 11-6 in blocks, rallied from two sets down to push the match to a deciding set. The Lady Eagles, however, finished off strong down the stretch as they avoided another scare from a tough FEU team.
The Katipunan-based squad had a slight edge against their foes in the attacks department, 55-49, and collected 74 excellent digs compared to FEU's 62 to help them advance to this year's Final Four showdown.
"Kay Coach Tai [Bundit], walang Final Four, walang 9-1," said Ateneo assistant coach Sherwin Meneses after the game.
"Step by step talaga [kami]. Final Four, siyempre masaya rin."
(For Coach Tai, there's no Final Four, there's no 9-1 [standing]. We really take it step by step. But for the Final Four, of course we're happy.)
Jho Maraguinot put up a game-high 23 markers on 19 attacks and 3 aces, while Michelle Morente and Bea de Leon combined for 27 for the Lady Eagles.
Bernadeth Pons finished with a team-high 19 points on 15 spikes and 4 blocks for the Lady Tams. She got enough help from team captain Remy Palma, who pitched in 12 from 11 attacks as well as Toni Rose Basas who added 14.
With their 8th straight victory, the Lady Eagles earn a 9-1 win-loss slate, while the Lady Tams drop to 5-5.
Ateneo will next face National University on Wednesday, March 22.
ADMU (3): Maraguinot 23, Morente 15, De Leon 12, Gopico 6, Tolentino 6, Morado 6, Gequillana 2, Madayag 1
FEU (2): Pons 19, Basas 14, Palma 12, Guino-o 6, Villareal 6, Cayuna 4, Negrito 3, Malabanan 2, Atienza 2. – Rappler.com