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MANILA, Philippines – Team captain Alyssa Valdez and spiker Jhoana Maraguinot produced enough firepower for Ateneo de Manila University to thwart the young but resilient University of the Philippines in 4 sets, 25-18, 26-24, 20-25, 25-15, in the quarterfinals of the Shakey’s V-League 12 Collegiate Conference on Saturday, August 15, at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Valdez, who will play on her last year next season, topscored with 29 points she built on 25 attacks including 3 blocks, while second year Maraguinot was not far behind with 24 markers on 22 kills.
The Lady Eagles rose to face another challenge this conference as the Lady Maroons came dangerously close to gaining a 2-1 set lead over the back-to-back UAAP champions.
But Ateneo prevailed as Valdez took over in the 4th set and had sufficient help as well from Amy Ahomiro, who had her way in the middle and caught the line several times in that set as she finished with 7 points.
“Coach reminded us that we really have to be consistent because if we play like that, it will be hard for us,” the 22-year-old Valdez said in Filipino, whose team had 32 errors compared to only 24 by UP.
“Coach said we have to experience these things so that during training we will work harder and we’ll tell ourselves that we have more to improve coming into training.”
The Lady Maroons were the first to push the Lady Eagles to 5 sets in the previous UAAP season and in this V-League conference, they once again threatened with a 25-20 set 3 victory.
The Diliman-based crew had a chance to take the second set and were on top 24-23 before Valdez scored on a tip to tie and Ahomiro got a point from a block to get the advantage. UP lost set point as they were unable to cover a rejection on Ateneo’s attack.
The Lady Maroons, whose starting 6 includes 4 rookies, appeared deflated, however, in the 4th with their body language sagging as the Lady Eagles raced to a 16-9 edge and never looked back.
Rookie Justine Dorog finished with 14 points to lead UP, while fellow rookies Diana Carlos and Isa Molde added 12 and 10 markers, respectively. – Rappler.com