Ateneo, FEU meet in a tug-of-war for early solo lead
Mark Escarlote on Feb 05, 2016 04:23 PM
Ateneo de Manila is looking for an early lead against Far Eastern University, which is also after the same prize.
Defending champion Ateneo de Manila University and Far Eastern University dispute the early solo lead Saturday in the 78th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Coming off convincing victories in their respective season-opening games, the Blue Eagles and Tamaraws part ways after the 10:00 a.m. skirmish that will air live over ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23, ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and via livestream at sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap.
Ateneo and FEU joined other early victors idle National University and De La Salle University in the first week of volleyball action.
The Blue Eagles behind back-to-back Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo made easy pickings of the University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers, 25-21, 25-18, 25-27, last Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
Espejo unleashed 15 kills out of his game-high 17 points while Ysay Marasigan and Rex Intal scored 11 each, but it was Season 77 Final MVP Ish Polvorosa who made the most impact for the Oliver Almadro-mentored squad as the playmaker dished out 31 excellent sets to mirror Ateneo’s superb reception for the first ball.
Despite their good start, Almadro wants his team to keep their guards up as every team in the field have them in their crosshairs.
“We are aware of that naman na everybody’s eyeing us,” said Almadro. “Kaya we are always preparing and we treat every team as the team to beat.”
And the Tams are definitely after their necks.
FEU smashed the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 25-23, 26-24, 25-23, six days ago.
Head coach Reynaldo Diaz is banking on Jeric Gacutan, who scored 17 markers in their season debut, Greg Dolor, Jude Garcia and John Paul Bugaoan to carry the fight for the Morayta-based squad.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles