Blue Eagles out to claim crown, Tams want extension
Ateneo de Manila University looks to formally claim the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference men's division title against Far Eastern University in Game 2 of their best-of-three series.
Ateneo De Manila University coach Oliver Almadro stresses the importance of starting out strong especially against an opponent known for its intensity and aggressiveness.
The mentor hopes that the Blue Eagles will put that in mind when Ateneo goes for the title-clincher against Far Eastern University in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference men’s division at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Saturday.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is set at 1:00 p.m. and will air via livestream.
The Katipunan-based squad drew first blood, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19, Wednesday.
In spite of a straight set win, Ateneo found the Tamaraws to be a tough customer. The Blue Eagles started out a bit flat to start each set and needed huge rallies in the closing stretch of each frames to pull away from the gritty FEU side.
“Intensity pa rin and we really have to manage ‘yung fundamentals namin both offense and defense. We need to be consistent pa,” said Almadro, who is looking to steer Ateneo to its third straight conference crown since annexing the last two editions of the decunct V-League.
“We really have to start strong kasi ever since naman ang start namin, ‘yun ang nagiging problema namin,” he added. “We really have to level up with the intensity of our opponent. Good thing ang mga players ko naman ready for the challenge.”
Gian Glorioso and Marck Espejo, who scored 15 and 14, respectively, in Game 1, are expected to come up with the same offensive explosions together with Chumason Njigha, Ishmael Rivera, skipper Karl Baysa and setter Ish Polvorosa.
“Sabi nga ni coach lagi kaming slow start, doon kasi kami nahihirapang mag-adjust,” said the four-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Espejo, who is a top contender for the conference MVP. Kapag nag-start kami ng maayos nakakagalaw kami ng maayos.”
FEU will bank on the trio of hitters John Paul Bugaoan, Redijohn Paler and Peter Quiel to try and extend the series to a Game 3 on Monday.
Meanwhile, University of Sto. Tomas shoots to snatch the third place trophy against National University at 11:00 a.m.
The Tigers took the series opener, 17-25, 28-26, 20-25, 25-21, 27-25, Wednesday.
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