Happy Ateneo ends two-game skid, puts NU on a leash
Mark Escarlote on Mar 09, 2016 05:29 PM
Ateneo de Manila ends a two-game slide with a straight sets domination of National University.
Ateneo de Manila found an unlikely hero in Kim Gequillana to stop a two-game bleeding on Wednesday as the two-time reigning champion Lady Eagles brought back their happy and heart strong mantra to return on the winning track.
The Lady Eagles stamped their class over the National University Lady Bulldogs, 26-24, 25-17, 25-19, to reclaim the solo top spot of the 78th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
Reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez and Jhoana Maraguinot played their usual game but the contributions of Gequillana gave Ateneo the inspiration to hurdle the challenge given by the Lady Bulldogs and improve to 7-2 win-loss record to regain the lead ahead of De La Salle (6-2).
Rarely getting to sweat inside the court this season, the third year hitter took advantage of her playing time to register nine points.
Gequillana thrived in the service line with four aces including back-to-back service winners in Ateneo’s display of firepower in the second set.
“Happy ako na naka-contribute ako sa team. Happy din ako na tinrust ako ng teammates ko and siyempre ni coach Tai (Bundit),” said Gequillana, who added seven digs.
Valdez top scored for the Lady Eagles with a game-high 20 points from 14 attacks, five aces and block kill. Maraguinot had 12 while Maddie Madayag got eight for the Katipunan-based squad, which recovered from its first consecutive losses since Season 76 dealt by De La Salle at the end of the first round and University of the Philippines last Sunday.
Jia Morado dished out 33 excellent sets out of the 36 spikes pounded by the Lady Eagles, who duplicated their straight sets win over NU in the first round.
“We’re just really thankful. I think the team really struggled, sa skills, mentally and physically lahat naman nag-struggle,” said Valdez. “I hope, we hope as a team din, na this will be the start na we’re really gonna play as one team and magdyi-gel kami. We really hope na we’ll really learn from all na talo.”
Watch the full interview here:
#UAAPSeason78Volleyball: Alyssa Valdez on Ateneo's win over NU that arrested the Lady Eagles' two-game slidePosted by ABS-CBN Sports on Wednesday, March 9, 2016
The Lady Bulldogs slid to 4-5 record and failed to ride the momentum of their straight sets win over Adamson University that halted their three-game slump.
Jaja Santiago was the only NU player in double figures with 12 points. Jorelle Singh had nine markers while team captain Myla Pablo was silenced with five.
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