Eagles, Bulldogs to dispute title

Published April 26, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

Led by Marck Espejo, the Ateneo spikers rejoice after a four-set win over FEU yesterday. (MB photo | Rio Deluvio)
Led by Marck Espejo, the Ateneo spikers rejoice after a four-set win over FEU yesterday. (MB photo | Rio Deluvio)

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Beware the law of averages. Or a convocation of vengeful Eagles.

Four-time MVP Marck Espejo exploded anew for defending champion Ateneo as the Blue Eagles ousted Far Eastern University, 25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18, yesterday for a return trip to the UAAP men’s volleyball finals at The Arena in San Juan City.

Still fresh from a league-record 55-point performance in the series opener over the weekend, the 6-foot-1 outside hitter hammered down 37 points, including 34 attacks to steer the Eagles to their fifth straight finals appearance.

Ateneo, likewise, arranged a fifth consecutive championship duel with arch-nemesis National University.

It was an impressive comeback for Ateneo, which entered the Final Four as underdog after FEU clinched one of two twice-to-beat advantages.

But the fourpeat-seeking Eagles displayed championship experience, besting the Tamaraws, 18-25, 25-13, 24-26, 25-23, 15-9, last Saturday before following it up with another blistering performance.

Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro commended his players who refused to fold.

“We were struggling in the first and second rounds, but my players believed in the process,” said Almadro, whose team lost to FEU twice in the eliminations.

The Eagles destroyed the Tamaraws’ solid net defense to dominate the third set before dictating the tempo in the fourth, 11-7, before pulling away for good.

Veteran setter Ish Polvorosa also made the difference for Ateneo by producing 40 excellent sets and managing eight digs even as Manuel Sumanguid had 25 receptions and 19 digs.

Ron Medalla chipped in nine points while Karl Baysa and Chumason Njingha conspired for 15 points.

Ateneo faces NU in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news"]
[2371577,2814292,2534630,2485825,2408462,2358243,2358052,2344118,2339143,2047660,1998697,996820,995332,995948,995006,994327,994303,993947,993860,993770,993529,993383,993285,798318,2882477,2882474,2882471,2882467,2882464,2882456]