Blue Eagles outclass Bulldogs
Mark Escarlote on Feb 27, 2016 11:56 AM
Ateneo de Manila continues to dominate National University.
What was expected to be a shootout between two powerhouse teams turned out to be a one-sided affair with the defending champion Ateneo de Manila stamping its class over the National University Bulldogs, 25-19, 25-15, 25-15, Saturday to remain on top of the standings in the 78th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at the Big Dome.
The Blue Eagles met minimal opposition against the team they’ve beaten in two games in last year’s Finals to improve to 6-1 win-loss record tied with the only squad that handed them their lone loss, the Adamson Falcons, to end their first round of eliminations campaign.
Reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo scored 15 points as the only Ateneo player in double figures while last season’s Final MVP Ish Polvorosa showcased an all-around performance with 23 excellent sets he spiced up with four points including a kill block and an ace.
“I’m happy sa nilalaro ng mga players ko, medyo nag-respond sila sa sinasabi ko sa kanila, sa instructions ko sa kanila,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “Like what I’ve said before, itong week na ito mahaba pero we are mentally prepared kaya 'yun siguro ang naging edge namin.”
The Blue Eagles showed the fluidity and cohesiveness they’ve shown in the championship round last year that gave the Katipunan-based squad its breakthrough title and denied NU a three-peat.
Ateneo capped its first round with a three-game winning run after falling prey to Adamson in five-sets.
NU dropped its second loss in six games and will end the first phase of action against Far Eastern University on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs were never in the game, committing 29 errors against Ateneo’s 16 and were outblocked 6-4.
James Natividad led NU with eight points while Bryan Bagunas and Madzlan Gampong were limited to a combined 14 markers.
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