BLUE WAVE: Ateneo wins back-to-back titles

Mark Escarlote on Apr 27, 2016 01:37 PM
BLUE WAVE: Ateneo wins back-to-back titles
Ateneo de Manila swept National University to claim its second straight title.

Ateneo de Manila once again reigned supreme as the Blue Eagles annexed their second straight title in sweeping fashion.

The Blue Eagles pummeled the National University Bulldogs to submission, 25-16, 25-20, 25-19, Wednesday in Game 2 of the best-of-three 78th UAAP men’s volleyball finals series at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

"Kakaiba ang feeling kasi sabi ko nga its our first time to defend the title. Sobrang anxiety. Di namin alam kung mape-pressure ba kami o matsa-challenge o magre-relax," said head coach Oliver Almadro. "Nag-deliver lang ang mga players and they believed na they are worthy (of another championship). 

Graduating captain Ysay Marasigan, who was named Finals MVP, received a fitting farewell gift from his Ateneo comrades in the Katipunan-based squad’s third straight finals appearance – all against the same opponent.

Marasigan finished with 12 points, all but one coming off attacks, while three-time Season MVP Marck Espejo and Josh Villanueva scored 11 markers each for Ateneo. Ish Polvorosa dished out 35 excellent sets. 

The Blue Eagles tamed the Bulldogs, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-18, in the series opener last Saturday

Rookie of the Year James Natividad top scored for NU with eight markers. Francis Saura had seven points while Bryan Bagunas had five for the Bulldogs, which were silenced to only 20 attacks and were peppered by the Blue Eagles with 36 kills.

Outgoing NU team captain Vince Mangulabnan capped his last tour of duty as a Bulldog with 20 excellent sets.     

Ateneo is now ahead in their Finals head-to-head with NU, 2-1, and defeated the Bulldogs for the eighth straight time since last season.

The Blue Eagles closed the tournament with 14 wins in a row with its lone loss coming from the hands of the Adamson Falcons in the first round of eliminations.




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