Blue Eagles clinch first Final Four seat
Mark Escarlote on Mar 19, 2016 01:16 PM
Ateneo de Manila clinched its third straight semifinals appearance.
Back-to-back seeking Ateneo de Manila secured the first semifinals berth in the 78th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament as the Blue Eagles extended their winning streak to eight at the expense of University of Sto. Tomas, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 25-16, Saturday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Four Blue Eagles finished in double figures to help the Katipunan-based squad barge in the Final Four for the third straight season. Ateneo remains on top of the standings with a 10-1 win-loss card.
Ysay Marasigan led all scorers with 17 points in an all-around offensive explosion of 12 attacks, four kill blocks and an ace for Ateneo, which got 16 markers from reigning two-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo and 12 each from Joshua Villanueva and Rex Intal.
Season 77 Finals MVP Ish Polvorosa dished out 44 excellent sets to go with five points.
“Officially nasa Final Four na kami but I told my boys that we will not stop until we get the opportunity and chance to be in the no. 1 or no. 2 position again,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “And then a chance to play in the finals and the opportunity and chance to be champions again.”
Watch the full interview here:
#UAAPSeason78Volleyball: Ateneo De Manila coach Oliver Almadro on Blue Eagles' formal entry to the Final FourPosted by ABS-CBN Sports on Friday, March 18, 2016
The win also gave the Blue Eagles at least a playoff for a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
Ateneo rallied from an early deficit in the pivotal third set to steal a 2-1 match lead before overwhelming the Tigers in the fourth, building an eight-point gap that UST never got closer than five.
The Espana-based squad went down for the second straight games for a 4-7 record tied with De La Salle.
Arnold Bautista finished witrh 14 points while Tyrone Carodan had 10 for UST, which is in danger of missing a ride to the semifinals.
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