PVL: Nisperos pours 35 points as Ateneo nears bronze finish

Mark Escarlote on Oct 09, 2019 12:36 PM
PVL: Nisperos pours 35 points as Ateneo nears bronze finish
Ateneo de Manila University banked on the 35-point explosion of Faith Nisperos to outlast College of St. Benilde in the battle for third opener. (Josh Albelda)

Rookie Faith Nisperos exploded for a personal-best 35 points and towed Ateneo de Manila University to a 22-25, 25-16, 22-25, 26-24, 15-11, win over College of St. Benilde to move closer to salvaging a podium finish in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Down, 1-2, in the match, the Lady Eagles showed nerves of steel in the extended fourth set before leaning on Nisperos in the fifth frame to stave off the feisty Lady Blazers in Game 1 of the best-of-three series to move within a win of claiming the bronze medal.  

Nisperos was unstoppable with 29 kills, four aces and two kill blocks and added 17 digs for an all-around outing for the Ateneo, which can sweep the series on Saturday.

The National University recruit scored four of the Lady Eagles first six points as Ateneo started the decider with a 6-0 lead. But CSB fought back to knot the set at 8 off a Michelle Gamit quick attack.

Nisperos again ignited the Lady Eagles’ 6-2 scoring barrage with back-to-back hits to move at match point. The Lady Blazers saved a match point on a Jaja Maraguinot double contact before Nisperos called it a day with the game-clinching off the block hit.

Ponggay Gaston and Joan Narit finished with 10 points each while Erika Raagas posted nine markers for Ateneo, which needed to comeback from a 16-21 deficit in the fourth frame to force a decider. Maraguinot tallied 33 excellent sets to help the Lady Eagles, who had 13 aces, hammer down 61 kills.

CSB had a chance to score an upset but squandered a five-point lead and allowed Ateneo to take a 24-23 advantage off Narit’s hit. Nisperos committed a service error in the next play before Narit pushed the Lady Eagles back at set point with a push. Marites Pablo surrendered the frame with an attack error.

Klarisa Abriam had 23 points to pace the Lady Blazers. Gayle Pascual had 18 kills in her 20-point outing and added 20 digs while Pablo and Gamit posted 11 and nine markers, respectively, for CSB, which threw away 31 points off errors.




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