Ateneo opens repeat bid on a high note
Mark Escarlote on Jan 31, 2016 01:00 PM
Reigning two-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo smashed 15 spikes for a total of 17 points to lead Ateneo de Manila to a quick three-set victory over University of Sto. Tomas.
Ateneo de Manila cruised to a 25-21, 25-18, 29-27 victory over the University of Sto. Tomas Tigers to jump-start its title-retention bid Sunday morning in the 78th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Heady playmaker and Season 77 Finals Most Valuable Player Ish Polvorosa orchestrated the Blue Eagles’ offense, dishing out 31 excellent sets.
Polvorosa’s effort translated to three Ateneo hitters scoring in double figures as the Blue Eagles peppered the defense of the Tigers with 52 kills.
Reigning two-time MVP Marck Espejo smashed 15 spikes for a total of 17 points while Ysay Marasigan and Rex Intal registered 11 markers each for the Oliver Almadro-mentored team.
Even after a quick work against one of the title contenders, Almadro, also the national men’s team coach, said that it’s still a long way to go for his squad.
“Mahirap magsalita kaagad na natalo n’yo na ang UST, natalo n’yo na si ganito. Fourteen games ‘yan. Last year nga nagsimula ako sa baba kaya hindi pwedeng magbilang kaagad so we have to work harder,” he said.
UST suffered heavily on firepower after the departure of last year’s Best Scorer Mark Alfafara and Romnick Rico. No player on Tigers coach Odjie Mamon’s roster scored in double digits with Arnold Bautista logging in a team-high eight points.
Tyrone Carodan had five markers in just two sets of action while Patrick Balse and Jason Sarabia were held to a combined seven-point outing for UST.
Tams gore Maroons in three sets
Far Eastern University also had a walk in the park opening day win against season host University of the Philippines, 25-23, 26-24, 25-23, to open the men’s hostilities early Sunday.
It took the Tamaraws only an hour and a half to destroy the Maroons behind the 12 points – 10 coming off kills - posted by Jeric Gacutan while Greg Dolor posted eight markers.
FEU, looking to end a three-year title drought, took advantage of UP’s 31 errors.
Wendell Miguel finished with 13 markers while Alfred Valbuena and Evan Raymundo scored eight and six points, respectively, for the Maroons.
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