Ateneo overpowers UP to grab solo UAAP lead
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Ateneo gave University of the Philippines (UP) a quick reality check.
The UP Lady Maroons looked nowhere near the squad that shocked defending champion La Salle as the Lady Eagles hacked out a surprising 25-21, 25-15, 28-26 sweep to grab the solo lead in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday, March 10, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Banking on a strong start, the Lady Eagles didn't waver on the way to clinching the top spot with a 4-1 record.
Maddie Madayag tallied 14 points as she led the Lady Eagles’ frontline. Kat Tolentino also played great on both ends, scoring 12 points and registering 14 digs.
Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro praised his team for responding well to his challenge to communicate better against a confident UP squad.
“Mahirap ang game na ito kasi alam mo UP, high morale, they really played well, they really fought hard, but my players kasi they really seek deep inside them what they really want and iyon ang nangyari,” said Almadro.
(This game was hard because we all know that UP has high-morale – they really played well, they really fought hard, but my players really seek what they really want deep inside them, and that’s exactly what happened.)
Tots Carlos emerged as the lone double-digit scorer for UP as she tallied 10 markers.
The Lady Maroons dropped to 3-2 behind the three-way logjam of La Salle, University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University (4-2).
Ateneo came out with a strong 8-4 start, but the Lady Maroons rallied back with a massive 8-2 run. However, a Tots Carlos attack error sparked an Ateneo 6-0 run that shifted the momentum and paved the way for the Lady Eagles to claim the opening frame.
The Lady Maroons absorbed another blow early in the 2nd set when Remelyn Altomea hurt her right ankle when Ateneo was up 6-3.
Ateneno kept its distance, 20-15, and Ponggay Gaston carried the squad late in the 2nd frame with 3 straight points that awarded the Lady Eagles with the set win and a 2-0 match advantage.
The 3rd set started pretty much the same with the Lady Eagles setting the tone early, 14-8.
Although the Lady Maroons showed signs of life, tying the game several times, the Lady Eagles survived the late challenge behind Bea de Leon and Deanna Wong in the extended set and secured the victory to stretch their winning streak to 4 games. – Rappler.com