UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Espejo sizzles in Ateneo's escape

Mark Escarlote on Feb 21, 2018 02:02 PM
UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Espejo sizzles in Ateneo's escape
Four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo unloaded 31 points to will three-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University to a four-set escape over upset-conscious Adamson University.

Three-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila University overcame a seven-point deficit in the fourth set and a gritty resistance from the upset-conscious Adamson University in a 25-14, 25-27, 25-23, 28-26 escape Wednesday in the 80th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Four-time Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo spewed fire as he unloaded a season-high 31 points off 26 attacks, three kill blocks and a couple of aces in the Blue Eagles’ fourth straight win in five outings that pushed Ateneo up to solo second behind unbeaten Far Eastern University (4-0).

The Katipunan-based squad went down 11-18 in the fourth set with the Falcons pounding on offense coupled by Ateneo’s string of miscues.

But the Blue Eagles, whose last defeat against the San Marcelino-based squad was in Season 78 first round, slowly chipped away Adamson’s lead before moving at match point, 24-23, off a kill by Ron Medalla. The Falcons saved a match point in the next play but Espejo was there to give the lead back to Ateneo.

Medalla committed a service error in the next play before Espejo put Ateneo again at match point on a crosscourt hit.

Espejo sent his service straight to the net that saved the Falcons another match point. Gian Glorioso answered with a quick attack to push the Blue Eagles back at match point advantage before Leo Miranda hammered his spike wide to surrender the match to Ateneo.

Glorioso added 14 points while Season 79 Rookie of the Year Chumason Njigha chipped in 13 markers for the Blue Eagles, who poured 61 attack points orchestrated by Ish Polvorosa's 61 excellent sets.

Adamson absorbed its second straight defeat and slid to seventh spot with a 1-4 mark.

Philip Yude had 13 points, Paolo Pablico had 12 while Royce Bello added 10 for the Falcons.

 

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