Ateneo fights back, forces Game 3

Mark Escarlote on Apr 27, 2016 06:51 PM
Ateneo fights back, forces Game 3
Ateneo de Manila survived for a day to keep its title-retention bid hopes alive.

Ateneo de Manila is not ready to waive the white flag.

Reigning three-time Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez won’t be hanging her no.2 jersey just yet.

The defending two-time champion Lady Eagles forced a deciding duel for the 78th UAAP women’s volleyball title in a dramatic 18-25, 26-28, 25-17, 25-16, 15-11 Game 2 comeback victory against bitter rival De La Salle Lady Spikers witnessed by a huge 20,541 screaming fans inside the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Getting their confidence back after overhauling a two-set deficit, Valdez turned into a scoring monster to steer Ateneo to probably one of the most memorable comebacks in the league.

Valdez uncorked 34 points, 32 coming off attacks with a kill block and service ace to lead the Lady Eagles. Jho Maraguinot had 15 markers while Bea De Leon got 12 for Ateneo. 

"Laban lang ng laban e. Wala na tayong magagawa kasi nasa Finals na tayo. Ibibigay mo na lang ang lahat," said Valdez. "So thankful kami na nanalo kami but its not over yet. It's gonna be a big responsbility going into Saturday's match."               

Game 3 of the best-of-three Finals series – the two proud schools’ fifth straight title duel - is on Saturday at the Big Dome.

The Lady Eagles went down early in the match, 0-2, but showed their heart strong spirit by taking the next two sets as Ateneo took advantage of DLSU losing Ara Galang for a brief moment in the closing moments of the third set to save a frame.

Galang went back in the fourth but the Lady Eagles were determined to fight for their crown until the bitter end. The Lady Spikers gave away 12 free points off errors and Ateneo capitalized to send the match to a decider.               

Ateneo recovered from a painful 22-25, 22-25, 21-25 loss in the series opener last Saturday to live another day.

Kim Dy posted had 13 kills in her total of 16 points to lead DLSU. Mika Reyes had 14, Galang got 12 while Cyd Demecillo finished with 10.  




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