Blue Eagles rule PVL Collegiate Conference
Ateneo de Manila University swept Far Eastern University in the Finals series to rule the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference.
Ateneo de Manila University made quick work of Far Eastern University, 25-21, 25-22, 25-16, Saturday to complete a best-of-three title series sweep in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference men’s division at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Banking on their fluid offensive flow orchestrated by Best Setter winner Ish Polvorosa and the usual fiery form of ace spiker Marck Espejo, who collected the Conference and Finals Most Valuable Player awards as well as the 1st Best Outside Spiker recognition, the Blue Eagles outgunned the Tamaraws to annex their third collegiate title since winning the defunct V-League’s last two crowns in 2015 and 2016.
The Katipunan-based squad drew first blood, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19, Wednesday.
"It’s really a blessing and opportunity from the Lord na we are ready to grab it na siguro," said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro, who completed a grand slam in the season after steering Cignal to the Reinforced and Open Conference crowns. "Unang-una this is just a stepping stone and our main goal is the UAAP."
Espejo finished with 20 points coming off 14 kills, a pair of kill blocks and four service aces for the three-time UAAP champion squad.
Gian Glorioso added 10 markers while Ishmael Rivera posted eight points for Ateneo. Polvorosa tallied 30 excellent sets.
Just like in their first meeting, Ateneo started out cold and needed a big rally in the middle of the first two sets to shake off the clingy Tams.
The Blue Eagles went behind, 19-17, in the second set before rallying to take a 23-21 lead capped by an ace by Polvorosa. FEU saved a set point, 24-23, before Espejo sealed the frame with a service winner.
A 6-1 separation in the third was what Ateneo needed to take the fight out of the Morayta-based squad.
National team member Peter Quiel and Raymond Bautista scored seven points each for the Tams.
Meanwhile, University of Sto. Tomas salvaged a third place finish after sweeping its bronze medal series against National University, 21-25, 30-28, 28-26, 25-21.
Joshua Umandal and Manuel Medina led the Tigers attack with 15 points each while Tyrone Carodan and Juren Buro got 14 and 10 markers, respectively.
The Bulldogs, who again played without UAAP beach volleyball bets Bryan Bagunas, James Nativisad and Fauzi Ismail, got 20 points from Madzlan Gampong and 16 markers from skipper Francis Saura in a lost cause.
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