Ateneo wins sixth straight, hands UP fourth loss in a row
Mark Escarlote on Mar 11, 2017 05:26 PM
Ateneo de Manila stretches its winning streak to six while dealing University of the Philippines a four-game losing skid.
Ateneo de Manila claimed another victory in the ‘Battle of Katipunan’.
Taking advantage of the weak defense and control of the first ball of University of the Philippines, the Lady Eagles were just unstoppable as Ateneo submitted the Lady Maroons in straight sets 25-15, 25-14, 25-15, Saturday in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Big Dome.
Veteran setter Jia Morado orchestrated the superb attacking game of the Lady Eagles, getting her teammates involved as Ateneo kept swinging on different angles to stun their Katipunan neighbors.
The Lady Eagles snatched their sixth straight win to tighten its grip of the solo top spot with 7-1 win-loss record. Ateneo are now two wins away from securing a Final Four spot.
"Meron (na kaming baon for Final Four) kasi seven wins na. Nine wins Final Four ka na eh," said Ateneo assistant coach Sherwin Meneses. "So mas malapit na kami sa Final Four."
Jho Maraguinot rebounded from a five-point outing agaist defending champion De La Salle University last week at the end of the first round with a 17-point performance anchored on 15 attacks and a pair of aces for Ateneo. Kat Tolentino pounded eight spikes for 10 points while Michelle Morente finished with nine markers while adding 13 digs and six excellent receptions for the Lady Eagles' walk in the park 66-minute conquest.
Morado dished out 38 excellent sets in Ateneo's 44 total attacks on top of her five points.
Ateneo also completed a sweep of the Lady Maroons in their elimination round head-to-head after defeating UP in three sets last February 26 – a loss that started the State University’s skid.
Meneses said that they were surprised with the quick win especially with UP giving National University a tough fight the last time out despite losing veteran libero Princess Gaiser to a season-ending left ACL tear before succumbing in five sets.
"Hindi (expected na madali ang panalo) kasi si coach Tai (Bundit) hindi basta-basta talagang lumalaban talaga ang UP hanggang huli katulad ng laban nila sa NU so si coach Tai hindi naman nagre-relax," he said.
UP’s woes continued with its fourth straight defeat after starting the season with four wins in a row. The Lady Maroons slid at sixth spot with 4-4 card.
Isa Molde had eight points to lead UP while Diana Carlos had seven.
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