Ateneo reigns supreme in UAAP men’s volleyball

MANILA, Philippines - The Ateneo De Manila Blue Eagles won their first ever UAAP men’s volleyball title by taking down National University in four sets, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-15, on Saturday, March 7, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Marck Espejo was superb once again for the new champions, putting up 33 points in the clincher. Finals MVP Esmilzo Polvorosa also performed well, finishing with 36 excellent sets in game two and an average of 46.5 throughout the series.

NU, who entered the series as two-time defending champions, was spearheaded by Peter Torres, who finished with 12 markers.

All first three sets were close battles, with the respective winners pulling out enough stops late to take the period.

NU was on top early in the third set, 7-4, and extended their lead to 16-12 before a 6-0 ADMU run tied the contest at 18-all.

Both clubs went back and forth, tying at 22 a few rallies later. But the Blue Eagles came up with the critical points late to take a 2 sets to 1 lead.

Ateneo raced off to a 12-8 lead in the fourth set and didn’t look back en route to the championship.

The Blue Eagles were dominant in the spikes battle, 57-37, and had more excellent receptions, 34-26. NU kept the contest close for the first three sets thanks to their opponents’ errors, which went up to 38 for the game. –