Eagles, Tamaraws clinch Final Four

by Kristel Satumbaga

Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
8 a.m. – La Salle vs UST (Men’s)
10 a.m. – Adamson vs NU (Men’s)
2 p.m. – UST vs NU (Women’s)
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs Adamson (Women’s)

Defending three-time champion Ateneo and Far Eastern University overcame separate foes yesterday to book Final Four tickets in UAAP men's volleyball at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Eagles survived the gritty University of the Philippines Maroons, 24-26, 25-15, 25-18, 31-29, while the Tamaraws swept the University of the East Warriors, 25-19, 25-12, 29-27.

Ateneo and FEU hiked their respective win-loss standings to 9-2, joining National University (9-1) into the next round.

It was a morale-boosting performance for the Eagles, who are coming off a stinging 25-27, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 16-14 loss to the Tams last week.

“Medyo mabigat para sa amin (after that loss),” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “We have to be more consistent and aggressive next time.”

Marck Espejo came through with another sterling performance for Ateneo in unloading 30 points that included 25 kills, while veteran setter Ish Polvorosa provided smart plays in the crunch and finished with 39 excellent sets.

Ron Medalla and Chumason Njigha chipped in 10 points each.

UP absorbed its eighth loss against three victories despite the combined 41-point production of John Mark Millete, Brylle Consuelo and Wendel Miguel, putting its Final Four bid in peril.

UE, already out of semis contention, sank deeper with a 0-11 card.