Falcons shoot down Blue Eagles for back-to-back victories
Mark Escarlote on Feb 10, 2016 01:47 PM
The Adamson Falcons outlasted the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles in a five-set battle.
Adamson engaged Ateneo in an aerial dogfight in a tight fifth set of their early rematch of last year's semifinals.
It was the smaller Falcons that soared higher as Adamson shot down the defending champion Blue Eagles, 25-19, 17-25, 22-25, 26-24, 15-13 with a surprising weapon to score a major upset Wednesday in the 78th UAAP men's volleyball tournament.
Adamson's blocking in the fifth set held to silence Ateneo's hitters highlighted by Dave Pletado's string of denials in the crucial stretch of the decider to the delight of a handful of Falcons supporters inside the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
"Swerte lang siguro kami, talagang napakalakas din ng Ateneo," said Adamson coach Domingo Custodio. "Inspired lang siguro ang mga players ko kaya maganda ang nilaro."
Pletado paced the Falcons to their second straight win to tie their victim at 2-1 win-loss record with 17 points coming off 12 spikes and five kill blocks - four coming in the fifth set including back-to-back denials that pushed Adamson's lead to 13-9.
Michael Sudaria and Bryan Saraza scored 12 markers each while Nico Ramirez had 10 for the Falcons, who are known for their vaunted floor defense rather than covering the net considering their disadvantage in ceiling.
Adamson erased Ateneo's 9-8 lead in the fifth set with a five-point burst sparked by a Sudaria kill and capped by Pletado's defensive gems.
Pletado got the Falcons at match point before reigning Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo saved a point on a kill.
Sudaria was called for a crossing violation before Saraza sealed the deal in the two-hour, 13-minute match with a hit.
Espejo finished with 27 points coming off 25 kills and a pair of aces for Ateneo, which gave away 37 points off errors.
Ysay Marasigan had 16, Joshua Villanueva got 11 while Rex Intal scored 11 for the Blue Eagles, who were outblocked by the Falcons (12-4).
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