Ateneo outlasts BanKo, nails last PVL title berth
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo-Motolite incredibly rose from two sets down to snatch the last championship berth in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference.
Kat Tolentino and Ponggay Gaston starred as the Lady Eagles stunned the BanKo Perlas Spikers in a five-set thriller, 21-25, 22-25, 25-17, 27-25, 21-19, of the winner-take-all semifinals on Sunday, December 2, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Tolentino unleashed 17 of her 20 points off kills to lead the Lady Eagles, who completed their comeback from a 0-1 series deficit against the veteran-laden Perlas Spikers.
Gaston also came out firing, scoring all but one of her 15 points off attacks.
Ateneo-Motolite will face heavy favorite Creamline in a best-of-three title series starting Wednesday.
Maddie Madayag also shone for the Lady Eagles with 14 points, half coming off blocks, while Bea de Leon delivered 13 markers.
BanKo took Game 1 in another tight, five-set duel, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 15-6, before Ateneo-Motolite equalized with a surprising straight-set victory 25-21, 25-20, 26-24, in Game 2 Saturday.
The Perlas Spikers launched more kills than the Lady Eagles, 79-60, but also committed more errors that cost them heavily, 31-18.
Nicole Tiamzon paced the Perlas Spikers with 28 points built on 25 kills, 2 aces, and a block.
BanKo and PetroGazz will dispute 3rd place also on Wednesday. – With a report from Ram Christian Agustin/Rappler.com