Blue Eagles open three-peat bid in UAAP men's volleyball
Mark Escarlote on Feb 03, 2017 06:17 PM
Focus is on Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles' campaign to pocket a third straight men's title.
Defending champion Ateneo de Manila begins its three-peat bid Saturday against an equally dangerous and hungry University of Sto. Tomas Tigers in the opening playdate of the 79th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at the Big Dome.
With only one key player in Ysay Marasigan leaving the squad after last season, the Blue Eagles remain a force to reckon with and could be an even more dangerous team with the addition of 6-foot-8 Russian-American Antony Koyfman.
But the pre-season hype of the Oliver Almadro-squad will be tested in the 10:00 a.m. match that will air live over ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166. The game is also on livestream.
Reigning three-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo and top setter Ish Polvorosa will be back together with graduating players Rex Intal and Josh Villanueva for the Katipunan-based squad, which trained in Thailand to further polish their chemistry heading into the season.
Ateneo after its UAAP conquest continued to roll, winning its second straight V-League Collegiate Conference title at the expense of archrival National University in a clean sweep of the contest – the Blue Eagles’ second straight feat in the conference.
On the other hand, the Tigers, which missed the Final Four last year, is a severely depleted squad with the departure of five key players leaving the Odjie Mamon-mentored crew with a relatively young team.
Meanwhile, University of the East and National University clash in the curtain-raiser at 8:00 a.m.
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